Prescribers urged to think about opioids


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GPs are being given an “opportunity to reflect” on their opioid prescribing, as part of a new national education program

From later this week, GPs across Australia will receive a letter from NPS MedicineWise allowing them to reflect on their prescribing of opioids for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.

This individualised PBS Practice Review is part of a new national education program titled Opioids, chronic pain and the bigger picture.

NPS MedicineWise CEO Adj A/Prof Steve Morris says the Practice Review, which includes PBS prescribing data for each prescriber, was developed in collaboration with GPs and sent to approximately 30,000 prescribers across Australia.

“NPS MedicineWise routinely sends Practice Reviews, with a focus on quality use of medicines and medical tests, to support clinicians in professional development and continuing quality improvement,” says Adj A/Prof Morris.

“All practices are different; practices specialising in palliative care, cancer care or acute care may appropriately have higher utilisation rates.

“The data included in the individualised PBS Practice Review should be considered in the context of the patients visiting each practice and their indications for treatment,” he says.

The current nationwide program aims to equip health professionals and consumers with tools and resources to reduce the harms of opioids while ensuring adequate pain management and quality of life for people with chronic non-cancer pain.

The program includes face-to-face educational visits to general practices, an upcoming electronic audit tool for GPs, a pharmacy practice review tool and a range of resources for health professionals and consumers.

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