Victoria has opened a public consultation on the proposed regulations to support SafeScript, the real-time prescription monitoring system
Minister for Health Jill Hennessy has released the proposed Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Real-time Prescription Monitoring) Regulations 2018 for public consultation.
The Andrews Government is encouraging Victorians to provide feedback on the regulations to establish an effective system that will reduce harms and deaths caused by high-risk prescription medicines.
In 2016, 372 Victorians died from an overdose of prescription medicines: more than the road toll.
The proposed regulations set out the key features of the SafeScript monitoring system in greater detail.
Included are medicines to be monitored, where records will be collected from, what information will be collected and viewed by health professionals, and where there are exceptions from mandatory use in certain circumstances.
To allow clinicians to familiarise themselves with the system, the proposed regulations include an 18-month introductory period before the use of SafeScript becomes mandatory.
The SafeScript system is expected to start being rolled out across Victoria by the end of the year, and has attracted a $29.5 million Labor Government investment. IT specialists Fred IT Group are building the system.
SafeScript will provide doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists access to an up-to-the-minute database to review prescription histories of patients in their care and enable safer clinical decisions.
It will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone, as well as other high-risk medicines.
A comprehensive workforce training package will be provided for clinicians to encourage safer prescribing and dispensing of high-risk medicines. There will also be a broad public awareness campaign to ensure Victorians will be well prepared for the introduction of SafeScript.
Comments must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 7 March 2018 via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The final regulations will take into account matters raised through the public submissions. Copies of the regulations and Regulatory Impact Statement are available at https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/public-health/drugs-and-poisons/safescript.
Quotes attributable to
“Victoria is the first state in Australia to roll out a mandatory prescription monitoring system on this scale. That‘s because we know SafeScript will save lives,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.
“It’s a tragedy that so many lives are lost each year to prescription medicine overdose. We have listened to the calls for real-time prescription monitoring and we’re getting on with delivering SafeScript.”