Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) will lead a Consortium, comprising all Victorian Primary Health Networks and NPS MedicineWise, to develop and deliver comprehensive training and education on the Real Time Prescription Monitoring system for doctors and pharmacists across Victoria. The Victorian Primary Health Alliance consists of Primary Health Networks in:
- North Western Melbourne
- Eastern Melbourne
- South Eastern Melbourne
- Western Victoria (Lead).
The increasing harms and deaths from the misuse of prescription medicines is a growing major public health concern in Victoria. In 2016, there were 372 Victorian drug overdose deaths involving pharmaceutical medicines, higher than the number of overdose deaths involving illicit drugs (257), and higher than the road toll (291).
Real Time prescription monitoring is a clinical decision support system that will allow doctors and pharmacists to access an up-to-the-minute medication supply history of certain high risk medicines for their patient at the point of consultation.
The training and information system, which is currently being developed under the guidance of the consortium, will provide health practitioners with the skills to safely manage patients who may be misusing prescription medicines or receiving supplies of high-risk medicines beyond therapeutic need.
The new system will be mandatory and will be implemented in 2018. This initiative will involve the roll out of a software system to over 1,900 medical clinics, 1,300 pharmacies and 200 hospitals throughout Victoria, as well as training and support packages for doctors and pharmacists.
Following the recommendations of an expert advisory group, the Real Time Prescription Monitoring system will include all controlled drugs (Schedule 8 medicines) and a number of high-risk prescription medicines used in conditions such as pain, insomnia and anxiety.
These include all Schedule 4 benzodiazepines such as diazepam (brand names include Valium); ‘Z class’ medicine sleeping tablets zolpidem (brand names include Stillnox), zopiclone (brand names include Imovane) and antipsychotic quetiapine (brand names include Seroquel).
The system will monitor all Schedule 8 medicines, such as oxycodone (brand names include OxyContin and Endone), morphine (brand names include MS-Contin and Kapanol), alprazolam (brand names include Kalma), flunitrazepam (Hypnodorm), methylphenidate (brand names include Ritalin) and Dexamphetamine, because of their high risk of misuse.
The recommendations were based on the findings from a comprehensive literature review undertaken by Austin Health and Melbourne University to gather evidence on which prescription medicines cause the greatest harm to the community.
The consortium members comprise:
Western Victoria Primary Health Network (PHN) as lead agency, plus the Victorian PHN Alliance (VPHNA) and NPS Medicine Wise; in partnership with the Victorian Pharmacotherapy Area Based Networks (PABNs), Odyssey House, the Association of Participating Service Users (APSU), Scriptwise and expert clinicians.”
For further information:
Helen Kostiuk, Snr Manager Communications, Western Victoria PHN - 0413 754 606.
Primary Health Networks
Primary Health Networks operate across Australia and were established by the Federal Government on 1 July 2015. They are responsible for delivering on the following two objectives:
- Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of health services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes.
- Improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.