Victoria adopts real-time prescription monitoring across the state

Matt Woodley

1/04/2019 4:22:47 PM

The state-wide rollout of the SafeScript system is expected reduce the risk of overdose deaths for thousands of patients.

Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley
Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley says the system is already saving lives. (Image: Tracey Nearmy.)

The state-of-the-art system is able to provide doctors, nurses and pharmacists with up-to-the-minute information on the prescription history of patients attempting to access high-risk Schedule 4 and 8 medicines.
Real-time prescription monitoring was introduced across the Western Victoria Primary Health Network last October, and the system has already identified around 4500 patients visiting multiple clinics or pharmacies who are at risk of harm of overdose.
‘SafeScript has been embraced by doctors and pharmacists in Western Victoria and we know it’s saving lives,’ Victorian Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley said.
‘Prescription medicine dependency can happen to anyone. Too many lives have been tragically cut short due to the harms from some prescription medicines. Each loss is one too many.’
There were more than 400 deaths attributed to prescription medicine overdoses in Victoria in 2017, while deaths due to prescription medicines have outnumbered the road toll in the state for the past six years.
Victoria is the second state to rollout comprehensive real-time prescription monitoring, with Tasmania gradually expanding its Drugs and Poisons Information System Online Remote Access (DORA) across practices and pharmacies since 2012.
The ACT also established its own real-time prescription monitoring system last month, while NSW has a version in place but is exploring SafeScript as an alternative.
The rest of the states and territories are falling behind, despite having had the option to use the federal Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system since 2013.
More than 7500 health professionals are currently using the SafeScript system, with around with 300 new registrants signing up weekly and a new prescription being recorded every five seconds.
In addition to the $29.5 million rollout, a public awareness campaign is attempting to highlight the potential dangers posed by prescription medicines and reduce the stigma of dependency.

Addiction Real-time prescription monitoring SafeScript

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