PDL would like to bring the upcoming changes to SafeScript to the attention of Victorian pharmacists. Effective from 3 July 2023, pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol will be added to the list of medicines monitored in SafeScript. This means you must take all reasonable steps to check the records and information in SafeScript on each occasion before supplying pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol for a patient under your care unless that patient is in hospital, a correctional facility (prison), palliative care or an aged care facility.
The prescription and dispensing events of pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol will be collected by SafeScript from 3 July 2023 onwards. SafeScript will not have any prescription or dispensing events for pregabalin, gabapentin or tramadol that occurred prior to 3 July 2023.
The existing categories of medications currently being monitored are all Schedule 8 medicines, benzodiazepines, ‘Z-drugs’, quetiapine and codeine-containing products. These additions will enable healthcare professionals to make informed decisions and prevent potential risks associated with these medicines.
As stated above, the use of SafeScript is mandatory throughout the state of Victoria, with a few exceptions. It is crucial for pharmacists to be aware of these exceptions and comply with the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 to avoid penalties for non-compliance.
PDL is aware of regulatory notifications pertaining to inappropriate access to SafeScript records and would like to remind Victorian pharmacists of their responsibility in using SafeScript. Pharmacists can only access SafeScript records for patients under their care. This may include medication history discussions with another health practitioner involved in the mutual care of the patient, as part of a medication history review during a patient consult, or when supplying medications that have been prescribed.
To equip pharmacists with the necessary knowledge and skills, accredited SafeScript training is readily available online and can be accessed through the SafeScript Training Hub. PDL strongly encourages all pharmacists to familiarise themselves with their obligations for Real Time Prescription Monitoring by ensuring that training is completed.
If you have any questions regarding your obligations to check SafeScript, you can submit an enquiry. If you have any technical issues accessing your SafeScript account, please call 1800 723 379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PDL is committed to promoting patient safety and professional excellence within the profession. Together, we can ensure that SafeScript continues to be a valuable tool in safeguarding patient health.
This Practice Alert was produced with input from the Victoria SafeScript division.
For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7, Australia-wide.