Premier

Seeking Your Say On Life Saving SafeScript Regulations

08 February 2018

The Andrews Labor Government continues to make significant progress in implementing real-time prescription monitoring in Victoria with public consultation on the proposed regulations to support SafeScript - the real-time prescription monitoring system - now underway.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today released the proposed Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Real-time Prescription Monitoring) Regulations 2018 for public consultation.

Victorians are encouraged 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. It includes 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 state-of-the-art SafeScript system is expected to start being rolled out across Victoria by the end of year, thanks to 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 safescript@dhhs.vic.gov.au.

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/safescriptExternal Link .

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“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.”

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.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“We‘re continuing to engage with key organisations to ensure the cutting-edge SafeScript technology is guided by clinicians, the alcohol and drug sector, and consumers.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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