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Victoria to introduce real-time prescription monitoring

Date posted: 26 April 2016

The Victorian (Vic) Government is introducing a real-time prescription monitoring system, which aims to reduce the number of deaths across the state from prescription drug overdoses.

The real-time prescription monitoring system will assist with the issue of people 'prescription shopping' from multiple doctors and pharmacies. Without a centralised monitoring system, this often goes undetected, thus the system will aim to identify prescription drug seekers early.

To implement the initiative, the Vic Government will provide close to $30 million in the 2016-17 Vic Budget to roll out the monitoring software, provide additional counselling and addiction treatment services, as well as providing training and support for doctors and pharmacists to identify and help prescription drug misusers early. Once implemented, the system will allow clinicians at 1900 general practice clinics, 1300 pharmacies and 200 hospitals to do an on-the-spot check before prescribing or dispensing medicines that are at high risk of misuse. This is expected to reduce the number of people taken to emergency departments with overdoses by more than 500 per year, and see a further 700 people a year referred to counselling.

The scheme will include Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone at a minimum, and the Government will consult with professional medical and pharmacy groups to determine the best way to include other high-risk medicines such as diazepam.

'With more Victorians dying every year from prescription drug overdoses than road accidents, we can't afford to wait any longer to take action,' said Vic Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy. 'We have listened to the families who have experienced first-hand the tragedies of prescription medicine overdoses and we're getting on with delivering this life-saving initiative.'

Source: Premier of Victoria Media Releases

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Last updated: 26 April 2016
 
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