Painaustralia welcomes SafeScript, the real-time monitoring system being developed for Victoria, which has the potential to set the benchmark for a national real-time monitoring system and help identify people with chronic pain who are in need of urgent assistance.
A system such as SafeScript will be in the frontline of identifying pain patients who are misusing or at risk of misusuing medications and who are possibly missing out on the level of care and support they require.
Increasing access to alternative treatments as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management – along with national implementation of a pain strategy – will be critical to reducing medication misuse (particularly of opioids) in addition to a suite of regulatory reforms.
This was reflected in the Opioid Rountable, convened by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in May 2015, which concluded that while quality use of medicines will be driven by good regulation, a much wider range of service-wide health changes are also needed, including: recognising the psychosocial factors that influence the pain experience; the need for multi-modal treatment strategies; and better system pathways and linkages between health professionals to facilitate a shared-care approach.
Better education for prescribers and consumers will also be important. Knowledgeable, empowered and supported consumers – one of the recommendations of the National Pain Strategy 2010 – are crtiical to addressing misuse of medications.