28 Nov 2018
Australia’s first comprehensive real-time prescription monitoring system has been launched in Western Victoria. Called SafeScript, the system was rolled out on 2 October 2018 at more than 400 sites across the Western Victoria Primary Health Network.
Locations include Ararat, Ballarat, Geelong, Maryborough, Stawell and Warrnambool. Next year, SafeScript will be rolled out across rest of the state.
In 2017, 414 Victorian lives were lost due to prescription medicine overdoses. SafeScript is designed to counter one of the ways patients with a prescription medication dependency are able to obtain an unsafe quantity of medication. It will ensure health professionals have fingertip access to real-time information about their patients’ prescription history of monitored medicines.
SafeScript allows prescription records for these medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database, which can then be accessed by doctors and pharmacists during a consultation. This will allow them to make safer decisions about whether to prescribe or dispense a high-risk medicine. The system will facilitate the early identification, treatment and support for patients who are developing signs of dependence.
Prescription medicines monitored through SafeScript include all Schedule 8 medicines and other high-risk medicines such as benzodiazepines, zolpidem or zopiclone, quetiapine and codeine.