Since 2012, the number of overdose deaths in Victoria involving pharmaceutical medicines has exceeded the road toll.
SafeScript is new computer software that allows prescription records for some high-risk medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database, which can then be accessed by doctors and pharmacists during a consultation.
The SafeScript system will enable doctors and pharmacists to make safer clinical decisions and identify circumstances where patients may be receiving high-risk medicines beyond medical need. It will also facilitate the early identification, treatment and support for patients who are developing signs of dependence.
After a trial in Western Victoria PHN's catchment, SafeScript is now available to the rest of Victoria. From April 2020, it will be mandatory for all Victorian prescribers and pharmacists to check SafeScript when either writing or dispensing a prescription for certain high-risk medicines.
Prescription medicines causing greatest harm to the community will be monitored through SafeScript. This includes all Schedule 8 medicines and other high risk medicines such as benzodiazepines, zolpidem or zopiclone, quetiapine and codeine.
SafeScript records will be obtained automatically via an electronic transfer of prescriptions through a Prescription Exchange Service when a prescription is issued or dispensed at a medical clinic or pharmacy.
SafeScript - Stay on the safe side
Find out more
- For further information on Safescript, including technical support click here
- To access the SafeScript Training Hub click here
- SafeScript | Health practitioner access
- Email the SafeScript Initiative
- SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline (24/7) 1800 737 233 | Free and confidential advice, support and referral for people concerned about their use of prescription medicines.
- Victorian GPs can access the General Practitioner Clinical Advisory Service (GPCAS) through the Drug and Alcohol and Clinical Advisory Service (DACAS) on 1800 812 804. In the Murray PHN region Dr Thilepaan Naren is the local clinical advisor and can provide peer-to-peer mentoring support and options for treatment of pain, anxiety, insomnia and associated addiction issues.
Factsheets for patients and families
- Understanding codeine containing analgesics
- Understanding opioid medicines
- Understanding quetiapine
- Understanding the 'Z drugs - zopiclone and zolpidem
Murray HealthPathways - referral pathways to assist clinicians
Murray HealthPathways is a free web-based portal for use by clinicians at the point of care, to access evidence based, locally accessible patient pathways for a range of health conditions. Access to the portal is free for all public and private health professionals within the Murray PHN catchment. Click here to request access.
Some of the pathways available for use include:
- Opioid Dependence
- Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD)
- Opioid Pharmacotherapy Dispensing - Information for Pharmacists
- Chronic Pain
- Medications in Chronic Pain
- Chronic or Persistent Pain Referrals
- Prescribing Naloxone
- Benzodiazepine Dependence
Note: You must be logged into the portal to view the links.
Online and face-to-face SafeScript training, attracting CPD points, is now available to prescribers and pharmacists through the Victorian-Tasmanian PHN Alliance.
Online modules have been developed in collaboration with NPS MedicineWise, and include:
- The SafeScript System – what, when and how?
- High-risk medicines and clinical practice – for prescribers
- High-risk medicines and clinical practice – for pharmacists
- Having challenging conversations – high-risk medicines, dependence and your patient.
Click here for more information and to access the online training.
Local continuing professional development opportunities
Murray PHN offers a range of training opportunities throughout the year on various topics including Safer Opioid Prescribing in General Practice. Click here to view the Events calendar.