Real-time prescription monitoring a step closer

Real-time prescription monitoring is one step closer following the Queensland parliament’s passing of the Medicines and Poisons Act and the Therapeutic Goods Act this week.

Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services, Steven Miles, said once introduced, the monitored medicines database would provide life-saving benefits by assisting doctors when prescribing dependence-forming medicines, minimising over-prescription and reducing doctor shopping.

“I made a commitment to deliver a real-time prescription monitoring system in Queensland in 2020, and passing these bills is the first major milestone in that process,” Mr Miles said.

The Minister indicated medicines to be monitored will include controlled drugs such as pharmaceutical opioids and other prescription-only medicines associated with drug dependence and the potential to cause harm, such as benzodiazepines and products that combine codeine with other medicines.

The Pharmacy Guild has long supported and called for the introduction of real time recording, and in a statement released this week said the development in Queensland is a common sense move which will benefit vulnerable patients.

Queensland Guild Branch President and National Senior Vice President Trent Twomey says real-time monitoring enables pharmacists to identify and support patients at risk of dependence and also to counter attempts at doctor shopping.

“The Guild welcomes the Queensland Government’s commitment and action to progress the introduction of real-time prescription monitoring in this state,” he said.

“We will continue to work closely with the government on the introduction of this system to ensure maximum outcomes for patients.

“We also commend Minister Miles for his efforts in driving the introduction of this important system,” Mr Twomey said.

The real-time prescription monitoring system is scheduled to be available for use by Queensland prescribers and pharmacists in the second half of 2020.

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