Real-time script monitoring laws pass Parliament


green light new law approval

The Victorian government has passed legislation to allow a mandatory prescription monitoring system to roll out by 2018

The Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Real-time Prescription Monitoring) Bill 2017, which passed Victorian Parliament on Thursday, establishes the state’s own mandatory real-time prescription monitoring system – to be known as SafeScript.

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.

The system will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone, as well as other high-risk medicines including Schedule 4 poisons.

“This will allow for the database to be a comprehensive record, which will inform clinical decisions on whether to prescribe or supply high-risk medicines,” reads the Bill’s explanatory memorandum.

Once fully implemented, it will be mandatory for prescribers and pharmacists to check the system before writing or dispensing a prescription for a high-risk medicine.

Pharmacists will be required to take “all reasonable steps” to check the monitored poisons database before supplying a monitored poison, with a penalty for breaching this provision of more than $15,000 (100 penalty units).

The same penalty will apply to any authorised healthcare practitioner or supplier that does not take all reasonable steps to check the monitored poisons database before prescribing or supplying a poison.

Exceptions to mandatory checking of the database include certain circumstances where the risk of prescription shopping is low, for example when the patient is a hospital inpatient, a prisoner, or a resident in an aged care service.

The Victorian Government assures health practitioners that it will be offering more support to minimise any additional impact the system may have, and ensure that SafeScript is embedded in existing clinical work.

“It is a tragedy that so many lives are lost to prescription medicine misuse. SafeScript will save lives, by helping to stop prescription shopping from next year,” says Minister for Health Jill Hennessy.

“SafeScript will be the most comprehensive real-time prescription monitoring system in Australia. It will be effective and user-friendly for health professionals, while protecting the public from avoidable harm.”

The Federal Government continues to work with all states and territories to implement real-time monitoring across the country by the end of 2018.

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14 Comments

  1. lilacsigil
    20/10/2017

    Fantastic news.

  2. JimT
    20/10/2017

    It needs to cover all script types NHS and Private Rxs

    • PharmOwner
      28/10/2017

      …and Schedule 4s, not just Schedule 8 meds

      • Jarrod McMaugh
        28/10/2017

        It does

        All types

        All S8
        All opioids
        All S4 benzo & “z” drugs
        Specified other agents such as Quetiapine

        Plus the chief pharmacist or delegate of the minister for health can add new agents without legislation

  3. Damian Jamieson
    23/01/2018

    As usual the many get punished for the few. A very poor plan that has been rushed through parliament without correct fact only assumptions.

    • Jarrod McMaugh
      23/01/2018

      This system doesnt punish anyone.

      It has also been in the planning stages for a few years now – the opposite of “rushed”

      • Damian Jamieson
        24/01/2018

        All the people who are responsible and follow simple instructions are the one who now need to spend money for a gp to get a script due to actions of people who abuse it.

        There are alcohlics too, do we all need to get permission to buy alcohol. A national database could be an option and just provide ID when u buy. If high numbers show on an individual, the chemist refer s that person to gp.

        • Jarrod McMaugh
          27/01/2018

          Welcome to the same.discussion we’ve been having for 3 years now.

  4. JimT
    27/01/2018

    Quote-“Once fully implemented, it will be mandatory for prescribers and pharmacists to check the system before writing or dispensing a prescription for a high-risk medicine.

    Pharmacists will be required to take “all reasonable steps” to check the monitored poisons database before supplying a monitored poison, with a penalty for breaching this provision of more than $15,000 (100 penalty units).

    The same penalty will apply to any authorised healthcare practitioner or supplier that does not take all reasonable steps to check the monitored poisons database before prescribing or supplying a poison.”

    Safescript should be embedded in Pharmacists and Doctors software so it is seemless. Last thing we all need is another step in our processes.

    • Jarrod McMaugh
      28/01/2018

      Happily, it is.

      It utilises the existing infrastructure of the electronic prescription repositories. IE MedView, eRx, etc.

      The software utilised by the clinician is required to make a pop up that meets certain specifications, is seamless, but must be acknowledged before you can move on.

      For those people who do not use the EPR systems, it won’t be seamless…. But still mandatory.

      • JimT
        28/01/2018

        So in “english speak” if I’m using “Fred” and I dispense a monitored drug it will give me a pop-up message which I have to respond to ,to continue.

        • Jarrod McMaugh
          28/01/2018

          Yes

          • Jarrod McMaugh
            28/01/2018

            Like a SN20dr warning

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