The PDL Professional Officers confirm that Victorian pharmacists have been receiving notifications regarding lapses in compliance with SafeScript. PDL strongly recommends that pharmacists take the time to familiarise themselves with their legal obligations. PDL wishes to underscore the importance of considerations from a professional and clinical perspective in every situation and placing patient well-being at the centre of all decisions and actions.
PDL would like to draw the attention of Victorian pharmacists to the following communication from the Department of Health in Victoria.
In 2021 alone, pregabalin contributed to 65 overdose deaths and tramadol contributed to 20 overdose deaths in Victoria.
Pharmacists are reminded that from 3 July 2023 pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol are monitored medicines in SafeScript. This means you must take all reasonable steps to check the records and information in SafeScript each time before supplying pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol for a patient under your care unless that patient is in an aged care facility, hospital, prison/gaol, or palliative care.
Penalties apply if you do not check SafeScript when you are required to do so. Further to this, failing to check SafeScript can result in serious disciplinary actions.
How do I check SafeScript?
To meet the legal requirements of performing a SafeScript check, you must view your patient’s records in the SafeScript portal. You can view your patient’s SafeScript in two ways:
1. Via the web-based portal
Log in to SafeScript via https://www.safescript.vic.gov.au/ and manually search for your patient.
2. Via your dispensing software, if it is integrated with SafeScript.
Click on the pop-up notification that appears on your desktop. This will take you directly to your patient’s SafeScript profile for you to review their prescribing and dispensing records.
When you see a red or amber pop-up notification on your screen, you must click on the amber or red notification to view your patient’s SafeScript profile. Simply looking at the amber or red pop-up notifications on your screen without going into SafeScript to review your patient’s profile does not meet the requirements of checking SafeScript, as you will not have all the information available to make an informed decision about whether to supply a monitored medicine.
A green pop-up notification means that there have been no prescriptions issued in the last 6 months or that there are no alerts and that prescriptions in the last 6 months are from the same prescriber.
Pharmacists should click on a green pop-up notification and view the patient’s SafeScript in instances where the notification states there are no alerts and that prescriptions in the last 6 months are from the same prescriber.
Following the mandatory requirement to take all reasonable steps to check SafeScript for pregabalin, gabapentin and tramadol from 3 July 2023, the Victorian Department of Health has commenced investigations into prescribers and pharmacists who have not fulfilled their legal obligations to check SafeScript when prescribing or supplying these medicines for patients under their care.
If you have any technical issues accessing your SafeScript account, please call 1800 723 379 or email it.SafeScript@health.vic.gov.au.
 Victorian overdose deaths report, 2012-2021 https://www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/victorian-overdose-deaths-2012-2021
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.