PDL has previously informed members likely to be working in Queensland of the mandatory requirements of the QScript real-time prescription monitoring system.
The practice alerts sent to PDL members in July and November 2021 explained the system, the intention regarding harm reduction and mandatory requirements for any prescriber or dispenser of a monitored medicine.
Since the introduction of QScript, PDL has taken many calls from pharmacists about the system and some of the outcomes of the system. PDL is pleased that Queensland Health has been taking an educative role in addressing lapses and improving awareness of a practitioner’s obligations.
PDL can now advise the availability of the QScript post-implementation survey. PDL encourages all pharmacists to respond as member feedback will assist in determining improvements to the QScript system and provide opportunities to better support practitioners.
Queensland Health has confirmed that the extended, temporary PBS arrangements for image-based prescribing ceased on 31 March 2022. For full details, please refer to the fact sheet ‘Image based prescriptions – Information for prescribers and dispensers’.
The PDL Professional Officers continue to receive many calls regarding legislation in the recently enacted Medicines & Poisons (Medicines) Act 2019 and Medicines & Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021. There have been changes in several areas and pharmacists need to inform themselves of these changes and how they apply to practice. There are several documents available from the Queensland Health website under the umbrella webpage ‘Fact sheets and supporting documents’.
Resources of particular relevance include:
• What pharmacists need to know
• Writing lawful prescriptions
• Monitored Medicines – Risk mitigation strategies for pharmacists
• Monitored Medicines – Legal obligations – GPs, private specialists and community pharmacists
• Monitored Medicines – Legal obligations – Hospital and Health Service prescribers and dispensers
The list above does not include many other relevant resources and PDL encourages pharmacists to review the available information. Updating knowledge of legislation can be incorporated into a pharmacist’s CPD learning plan and a review of the new Act and Regulation in conjunction with resources such as those mentioned above could be incorporated into annual CPD records.
A common question about S8 prescriptions
The new regulation specifies that the quantity or volume of an S8 medicine must always appear in words and figures. In the case of electronic prescriptions and computer-generated paper prescriptions, this requirement can be printed on the prescription, without the need for handwritten confirmation. These details only have to be handwritten when the entire prescription is handwritten i.e. when it is not an electronic or computer-generated prescription.
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.