The South Australian government’s budget commitment to implement a real-time prescription monitoring system (RTPM) is a good step forward, according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, which has called on the state government to ensure it is given high priority.
PSA SA/NT Branch President Robyn Johns urged the government to follow through on this commitment to help improve the health of South Australians.
“Real-time prescription monitoring was included in the state’s 2018-19 budget, but as yet we haven’t seen any progress,” she said.
“The 2019-20 budget commitment of $4 million to implement the system is very promising. However, timely implementation is crucial.”
PSA’s ‘Medicine Safety: Take Care’ report highlights the severity and cost of medicine-related problems, which are responsible for 250,000 hospital admissions and 400,000 emergency department presentations in Australia each year, costing the healthcare system $1.4 billion annually.
At least half of this harm is avoidable, the report says.
“Medicine safety is a health priority and implementation of an RTPM system in South Australia will aid clinical decision making and provide an opportunity to identify and appropriately manage patients misusing specific prescription medications,” Ms Johns said. “In turn, this will help address medicine-related harm and ensure optimal health outcomes for South Australians.”.
The budget announcement states the estimated completion date for the RTPM system’s implementation is June 2020. PSA says it stands ready to engage with the government to achieve implementation within this timeframe.
Although PSA supports the independent work of states and territories in implementing RTPM systems, the organisation says it believes this will continue to pose significant risks around interoperability across jurisdictions.