Opioids Roundtable to review PBS restrictions

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The Health Department will hold an Opioids Roundtable meeting on 27 May 2015, in Canberra, to gather stakeholder input and review the PBS restrictions for opioids, as part of the Post-market Review of Authority Required PBS Listings.

The scope of the meeting includes (but is not limited to) morphine, oxycodone and codeine.

The meeting will help the PBAC in forming its recommendations to the Health Minister on the PBS listings for opioids; it aims to bring together health professionals, researchers, consumer groups, industry and government to both seek ways to reduce regulatory burden on health professionals, improve patient care, and to continue to manage the risk of opioid misuse and diversion.

Through the Review, Health says it has identified that around 30% of the telephoned authority requests to the Department of Human Services (Medicare), or 1.8 million calls per year, are for increased quantities and/or repeats of eight opioids.

This represents a substantial regulatory burden for a broad range of clinicians and patients, Health says.

While opioids are not generally Authority Required medicines, this issue of regulatory burden cannot be adequately addressed without reviewing the current PBS listings for opioids under a quality use of medicines framework, it says.

The Roundtable will also consider implications for the priorities of the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action (2012-15), particularly the objective to reduce the misuse and illicit traffic of pharmaceutical drugs in Australia.

The Department has invited a number of relevant stakeholder organisations to nominate attendees for this meeting. Further nominations can be emailed to the Opioids Roundtable Secretariat by 10 May 2015.

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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.

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