The Guild has commenced the national rollout of MedsASSIST, the new real-time recording and monitoring system for medicines containing codeine, it reports in this week’s edition of Forefront.
“MedsASSIST was developed in response to concerns over patient safety relating to these medicines and as an effective alternative to making them prescription-only,” the Guild says.
“MedsASSIST aims to ensure that the majority of consumers who use these medicines safely can continue to access them at their local pharmacy.
“MedsASSIST is a clinical decision support system designed to help pharmacists identify consumers who are at risk of codeine dependence. It facilitates access to suitable referral pathways to support patients to better manage their pain and enhance health outcomes.”
The Guild says that MedsASSIST is set to be delivered to all pharmacies by mid-April.
“Pharmacies will receive an email with an individual username and password to log in to the system and access support materials for implementation in the pharmacy.
“This is a vital project for our profession. MedsASSIST will only be effective if pharmacists and pharmacy staff support it nationally and the Guild urges all pharmacies across Australia to implement it.”
A pilot of the MedsASSIST system involving 138 pharmacies in the Newcastle NSW and North Queensland regions was conducted in February 2016.
Feedback from pharmacies participating in the pilot demonstrates the system’s effectiveness at reducing harm and the fact it is generally well accepted by consumers, the Guild says.