Pharmacy welcomes real-time monitoring

News that Victoria passed legislation to establish real-time prescription monitoring has been welcomed by pharmacists

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the Victorian Government’s announcement of a statewide roll-out of a real-time prescription monitoring system – called SafeScript – in 2018, following the passing of new laws in Melbourne on Thursday.

SHPA Victorian Branch Chair Glenn Valoppi says the new legislation, which will see Victoria become the second state after Tasmania to roll out a mandatory prescription monitoring system from late 2018, is an important protective measure.

“The Victorian Government’s real-time prescription monitoring system will arm clinicians in Victoria with appropriate information to provide quality and informed care to patients using medicines that are susceptible to misuse,” says Mr Valoppi.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says interventions that recognise the specific expertise of hospital pharmacists are crucial to reducing the 230,000 medicine-related hospital admissions per year in Australia.

“As medicines experts, hospital pharmacists support evidence-based initiatives to introduce real-time monitoring of controlled drugs, including prescription opioids.

“On behalf of our members, SHPA advocates for restrictions to the availability of all medications that carry documented risk of adverse effects through misuse or abuse, as reflected in our recommendations as the first – and only – pharmacy organisation member of Choosing Wisely Australia.’

Ms Michaels says real-time monitoring is an important safeguard against medicine misuse and diversion.

“In July this year, SHPA applauded Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt’s $16m investment to deliver the national roll-out of real-time prescription monitoring, which will empower clinicians to provide higher quality care to patients using medicines susceptible to abuse.

“In the interest of quality medicines management, SHPA will continue to advocate for a national system to curtail prescription drug dependence, and hopes Victorian real-time prescription monitoring will dovetail nationally in the lead-up to the reclassification of codeine-containing medicines as prescription-only from 1 February 2018.”

AJP readers also welcomed the news.  Here’s what you had to say:

“Fantastic news.” lilacsigil

“About time this happened.” Theodora

“This is a great idea. I guess it is about time to do this!” Lorelie

“Can’t wait to use this.” Tamara

“Awesome stuff.” Dena

“This is going to make things very interesting.” Victoria

“It needs to cover all script types NHS and Private Rxs.” JimT

“About time we got something like this!!” Brooke

“It’s good but do we have to log in to check data? It should be automatically linked to our dispense!” Andrew

“This would be cool to have in QLD!” Maria

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