Getting SafeScript Done And Saving Lives

31 August 2018

Australia’s first comprehensive real-time prescription monitoring system being rolled out by the Andrews Labor Government will come online next month.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today joined clinicians at a pharmacy in Yarraville to announce SafeScript would begin in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network catchment next month – before rolling out across the state early next year.

Prescription medicine dependency can happen to anybody, and deaths caused by prescription medicine misuse have outnumbered the road toll in Victoria for the past six years. In 2017, 414 Victorian lives were lost due to prescription medicine overdoses.

SafeScript will give doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists access to up-to-the-minute information on the prescription histories of their patients.

It will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone – which carry the highest risk of misuse – and other medicines such as codeine and diazepam.

We’ve listened to the experts, who tell us “doctor shopping” is one of the ways patients who are dependent on prescription medication are able to obtain an unsafe quantity of medication.

SafeScript will ensure health professionals have finger-tip access to real-time information about their patient’s prescription history of monitored medicines, to help them make the best and safest decisions.

The Labor Government has invested $29.5 million to implement SafeScript, including comprehensive training and support for health practitioners across Victoria.

A new awareness campaign is also being rolled out to highlight the potential dangers posed by some prescription medications, with a TV advertising campaign set to hit screens from today.

A dedicated pharmaceuticals hotline offering free, expert and confidential advice and support is also available for people concerned about their use of high-risk medicines.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Too many Victorians have died from the misuse of prescription medications. SafeScript will save lives.”

“We promised the most comprehensive and cutting-edge real-time prescription monitoring system in Australia and that’s exactly what we’re rolling out.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“Prescription medicine dependency doesn’t discriminate. Thanks to SafeScript, doctors and pharmacists will have the critical information they need to keep their patients safe and prevent prescription medicine deaths.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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