Policy and Advocacy

SafeScript

What is SafeScript?

The increasing harmful use of prescription medicines, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, is a major public health concern.  The Victorian Government is taking action to reduce these harms by implementing SafeScript, a real-time prescription monitoring clinical tool.

SafeScript is computer software that allows prescription records for certain high-risk medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database, which can then be accessed by doctors (or nurse practitioners) and pharmacists during a consultation with a patient.

Victoria’s SafeScript is now live.
 

Requirements for prescribers

Prescribers and pharmacists are legally required to include the patient's date of birth on all prescriptions for medicines monitored through the system.
 

Which medicines are monitored?

Prescription medicines causing the greatest harm to the community are monitored through SafeScript.  

This includes all Schedule 8 medicines, benzodiazepines, codeine and psychiatric drugs like Quetiapine, Zolpidem and Zopiclone.
 

What about penalties?

Doctors who fail to take all reasonable steps to check SafeScript will incur a penalty of $15,000.
 

How long do I have to get used to SafeScript?

Use of SafeScript is mandatory from April 2020. 

The Victorian Government has engaged key stakeholders in the development of SafeScript, including the Australian Medical Association (Victoria).  

AMA Victoria has strongly advocated for an 18 month moratorium on the application of penalties. 

This means that doctors have an 18 month ‘grace period’ to get used to the SafeScript clinical tool, before penalties commence.

 

Where can health professionals get more information?

Click here to read more

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