SafeScript already saving lives

SafeScript is already saving lives and keeping patients with prescription medication addictions safe from harm.

In its first two months, SafeScript has alerted doctors and pharmacists in western Victoria to almost 3,300 patients at risk of harm or overdose from visiting multiple clinics or pharmacies.

Deaths caused by prescription medicine misuse have outnumbered the road toll in Victoria for the past six years.  In 2017, 414 Victorian lives were lost due to prescription medicine overdoses.

The safeScript real-time prescription monitoring system came online in Western Victoria at the start of October and will be rolled out across the state in April next year.

‘Doctor shopping’ is one of the ways patients with a prescription medication dependency are able to obtain an unsafe quantity of medication. SafeScript will ensure health professionals have finger-tip access to real-time information about their patients’ prescription history of monitored medicines.

State Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said, “we said SafeScript would save lives and that’s exactly what this cutting-edge program is doing. Prescription drug dependency can happen to anyone and the consequences can be tragic.

“Now, health professionals can access real-time information about a patient’s prescription history and discuss with them the risks of using dangerous amounts of prescription medication.”

More than 400 sites across the Western Victoria Primary Health Network catchment are part of SafeScript’s inaugural rollout, at locations including Ararat, Ballarat, Geelong, Maryborough, Stawell, Warrnambool and many more.

SafeScript is monitoring all Schedule 8 medicines such as morphine and oxycodone, and other medicines such as codeine and diazepam.

The Labor Government has invested $29.5 million to implement SafeScript, including training and support for practitioners.

A public awareness campaign has been rolled out aimed at more than 600,000 people in Western Victoria, who can also get free and confidential advice by calling the 24-hour SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline on 1800 737 233.