Launch of a new medication register in the ACT
NEW prescription monitoring software, designed to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse, has been introduced to ACT.
Canberra Script, launched today (24 February) by the ACT Government, enables ACT doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists to assess patients’ medication history before prescribing and dispensing certain medicines.
Created to be compatible with a national registry, the software will alert practitioners to patients who have previously exhibited drug-seeking behavior.
Over the past decade, opioid-induced deaths have been found to be more likely to be due to prescription drugs than illegal drugs, and the number of deaths in the presence of a prescription drug has increased .
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new medicines register will give medical practitioners a better view of what their patients are using.
“Prescription drugs can relieve pain after an accident or surgery or lessen the symptoms of illnesses or other conditions, but drugs also have side effects, and some can lead to addiction or other harm,” said Ms. Stephen-Smith.
“It is important that those prescribing and dispensing drugs know what other drugs the patient is taking or has recently taken, as some drugs can be harmful when taken in high doses or in combination with other drugs.”
As part of the system, whenever a patient is prescribed or dispensed a drug, the information will automatically be displayed in Canberra Script.
Patients cannot opt out of having their prescribed medication information displayed in the system.
All states and territories in Australia, including the ACT, have agreed to implement a real-time prescription monitoring system.
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Ian Meikle, editor