Opioid Therapy Program management resources

Opioid Therapy Program management resources website image

As a PDL NSW member, you may have seen the Forum communique sent on 13 October 2022 regarding the joint initiative between the Pharmacy Council of NSW, NSW Health and the pharmacy organisations representing most NSW pharmacists.

As mentioned in the communique, the purpose of the Forum is to:

• monitor regulatory issues that impact on the governance and performance of NSW pharmacists and owners of NSW pharmacies;
• identify key communication messages for pharmacists related to obligations and responsibilities of pharmacists in respect of the law, policies, guidelines and standards;
• develop an integrated approach to communicating with pharmacists;
• encourage a collaborative approach to the promotion of clinical governance and legislative compliance among pharmacists.

Forum representatives have been tasked with developing several resources to support NSW pharmacists. The resources are intended to increase awareness of these areas of risk of regulatory action within the profession and to offer suggestions to mitigate the risk to patients, pharmacists, prescribers and the public. The resources are intended to be used as tools for pharmacists in conjunction with a pharmacist’s overall knowledge and autonomous practice.

The following documents are the second round of resources developed by the Forum which offer guidance for the management of the Opioid Therapy Program (OTP).

1. Opioid Therapy Program flow chart
2. Supporting resources for managing OTP medicines

It is hoped that pharmacists and pharmacy owners will utilise the flow chart to guide the assessment and dispensing of prescriptions for these medicines. It is suggested the flow chart be located within the dispensary, preferably near the opioid therapy area.

The supporting resource provides useful background information, linked resources for risk mitigation actions and suggestions for pharmacists and pharmacy management. Many of the websites listed in the supporting document are useful for assessing the validity and safety of prescriptions and it’s suggested the websites be saved on the dispensing terminals for easy access.

The first round of resources was released to NSW members on 3 November 2022 and offered guidance for the management of high-risk S8, S4B and S4D medicines.

If you have questions regarding this material, please contact the PDL Professional Officers.

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.