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SafeScript Rolls Out Statewide To Save More Lives

31 March 2019

Australia’s most comprehensive real-time prescription monitoring system, SafeScript, will go online across Victoria tomorrow and keep thousands more Victorians at risk of overdose safe from harm.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today announced the full roll out of SafeScript after the cutting-edge system was successfully introduced in Western Victoria last October.

SafeScript gives doctors, nurses and pharmacists access to up-to-the-minute information on the prescription history of their patients for high-risk medicines.

The Andrews Labor Government has invested $29.5 million to implement SafeScript, including training and support for health professionals.

In just six months, the system has alerted health professionals at more than 400 sites across Western Victoria to around 4,500 patients at risk of harm of overdose from visiting multiple clinics or pharmacies.

Now, more lives will be saved with the system going online for all Victorian doctors and pharmacists. There are now more than 7,500 health professionals registered and using the system.

And more and more are signing up, with 300 new health professionals registering to use SafeScript each week. SafeScript is recording one new prescription every five seconds.

In 2017, more than 400 Victorian lives were lost due to prescription medicine overdoses. Deaths due to prescription medicines have outnumbered the road toll in Victoria for the past six years.

SafeScript monitors all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone, and other high-risk medicines such as codeine and diazepam.

Meanwhile, a public awareness campaign is being rolled out across Victoria to highlight the potential dangers posed by prescription medicines and reduce the stigma of dependency.

There is also free and confidential advice available by calling the 24-hour SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline on 1800 737 233.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos

“The statewide roll out of the SafeScript system will save lives and keep even more people at risk safe from harm.”

“Doctors and pharmacists can now see the prescription history of their patients in real-time, helping people at risk break their dependency.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Mental Health Martin Foley

“SafeScript has been embraced by doctors and pharmacists in Western Victoria and we know it’s saving lives.”

“Prescription medicine dependency can happen to anyone. Too many lives have been tragically cut short due to the harms from some prescription medicines. Each loss is one too many.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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