PPA welcomes the introduction of a real-time monitoring system for high risk prescription medications to Victoria’s West.
This launch is a positive step to recognising the knowledge and skills of pharmacists as healthcare providers. SafeScript serves to enhance the interprofessional communication between pharmacists and doctors that we have long been advocating.
SafeScript, is a computer software that aims to provide prescribers and pharmacists a tool to make safer decisions about whether to prescribe/dispense high-risk medicines. This program will be launched to identify, treat and support patients who develop signs of dependence.
Since 2012, opioid overdose deaths in Victoria have exceeded the road toll (291). The most recent statistics, from 2016, reveal that opioid overdose deaths (372) have risen above illicit drug overdose (272).
The Coroners Court of Queensland published its findings and called for an introduction of a real-time prescription monitoring system to enable the effective management of the prescribing and supply of drugs of dependence.
The Coroners Court of Queensland investigated four prescription opioid deaths that the coroner says is a “representative sample from a large number of other similar deaths as they are typical of the circumstances in which death often occurs as a consequence of prescription opioid abuse.” The inquest findings and called for an introduction of a real-time prescription monitoring system to enable the effective management of the prescribing and supply of drugs of dependence. (View the findings here: Findings of Inquest).
SafeScript works by allowing prescription records for some high-risk medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database that can be accessed by doctors and pharmacists during a consultation.
The Department of Health and Human Services, VIC website said:
“The records will be obtained automatically via an electronic transfer of prescriptions through a Prescription Exchange Service (PES) when a prescription is issued or dispensed at a medical clinic or pharmacy. No data entry will be required.”
Medicines that will be monitored through this program are:
- All Schedule 8 medicines including drugs used in the Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT) program,
- Benzodiazepines and,
- Schedule 4 codeine combinations.
The initial roll-out of the program will be focussed in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network that comprises of the Ballarat, Geelong, Horsham and Warnambool before being rolled out to the rest of the state in 2019.
For more information, you can contact the SafeScript Initiative Team via email at email@example.com or visit the website at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and-poisons/safescript/about-safescript