Have Your Say About Safe Medicine Monitoring

04:54' 08-02-2018
Many Australian lives are lost each year from accidental overdose of prescription medicines. In 2016, 372 Victorians died in this way, more than the number of overdose deaths from illicit drugs (257) and the road toll (291).

    Photo: opengovasia.com

    This year, the State Government will introduce a prescription monitoring system, “SafeScript”, in an attempt to reduce that number. Victoria is the first Australian state to take this step. Thanks to a $29.5 million government investment, the rollout of the system across Victoria is expected to start by the end of year.

    SafeScript will give doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists access to an up-to-the-minute database, so they can review the prescription history of patients in their care and make safer clinical decisions. It will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone, as well as other high-risk medicines.

    A range of initiatives to support and prepare patients and health professionals includes:

    • a public awareness campaign to improve understanding of the risks associated with some prescription medicines
    • training for prescribers and pharmacists on how to more safely prescribe, dispense and respond to the needs of patients
    • additional peer to peer support for General Practitioners
    • some minor enhancements to the alcohol and other drug treatment system

    Training for medical professionals, including pharmacists, will be delivered by a consortium comprising all Victorian Primary Health Networks and NPS MedicineWise.

    The proposed regulations set out the key features of SafeScript in greater detail. They include medicines to be monitored, where records will be collected from, what information will be collected and viewed by health professionals, and exceptions from mandatory use in certain circumstances.

    The regulations include an 18-month introductory period, before the use of SafeScript becomes mandatory.

    Victorians are encouraged to provide feedback on the regulations. Please email comments to safescript@dhhs.vic.gov.au by 5pm on Wednesday 7 March.

    Copies of the regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement are available at www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and-poisons/safescript.

    Thuy P

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Keywords: prescription medicinessafescriptvictorians

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