Changes to painkiller records

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

QUEENS­LAND will slash the re­port­ing time for phar­ma­cists to no­tify when they dis­pense pre­scrip­tion painkillers from monthly to weekly.

Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick made the an­nounce­ment and said the mis­use of pre­scrip­tion painkillers was a se­ri­ous prob­lem that needed to be tack­led.

“This is a grow­ing prob­lem not just in Queens­land but across Aus­tralia and in­ter­na­tion­ally, and we need to re­spond,” Mr Dick said.

“This move to weekly re­port­ing will pro­vide doc­tors with a greater level of aware­ness of how of­ten and where and when a per­son has filled a pre­scrip­tion for painkillers.”

Phar­ma­cists are cur­rently re­quired to no­tify on a monthly ba­sis when they dis­pense pre­scrip­tions for what are known as Sched­ule 8 or S8 drugs.

The de­tails are en­tered onto a data­base which doc­tors can ac­cess via tele­phone.

“We are talk­ing about painkilling drugs such as fen­tanyl, oxy­codone and mor­phine,” Mr Dick said.

“For­tu­nately, we have these drugs to help peo­ple man­age and cope with se­vere and ex­treme pain, both chronic and acute.

“Un­for­tu­nately, there is a grow­ing preva­lence of these painkillers be­ing mis­used.”

Mr Dick said it could be both the per­son pre­scribed the drug or a third party who could mis­use the painkillers.

“Ac­cess by doc­tors to a pa­tient’s pre­scrip­tion his­tory and other treat­ment in­for­ma­tion en­ables doc­tors to make bet­ter-in­formed pre­scrib­ing de­ci­sions, and re­duce a per­son’s mis­use of these drugs,” Mr Dick said.

Queens­land Health launched a seven-day tele­phone en­quiry ser­vice to give doc­tors im­proved ac­cess to the in­for­ma­tion.

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