For people living with pain conditions, medication is very often the most accessible and affordable form of treatment and one important component of managing pain. It is important that we achieve a balance between ensuring people have access to the medications they need to manage their pain and doing everything possible to guarantee the medications are being used safely and effectively.
The rollout of Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM) programs across Australia is an opportunity to do both things.
RTPM is a computer system that provides pharmacists and prescribers with medicine history information about a consumer’s use of monitored drugs (for example, diazepam and tramadol). Pharmacists and prescribers can use this information when considering prescribing or dispending these drugs, with the aim of reducing misuse and harm of controlled medicines in Australia.
If implemented well, this system will be a valuable tool to find the right pathways for consumers, enabling them to better use the medications they are taking. It should also facilitate a conversation between health professionals and consumers about medications within a holistic management approach.
Painaustralia is proud to have played a more involved part in the current implementation of SafeScript NSW and Canberra Script in the ACT through developing, testing and evaluating messages with consumers and key stakeholders and participating in advisory groups overseeing implementation.
As part of the implementation of Safescript NSW and Canberra Script, Painaustralia was able to provide feedback on the messaging from a consumer perspective with advice from our Consumer Advisory Group. In NSW, this followed extensive consultation undertaken by NSW Health with health professionals, consumers, and stakeholders.
In the ACT, Painaustralia has worked closely with ACT Health and our Consumer Advisory Group to develop sensitive and respectful communication that will be tested with a range of key stakeholders in the coming weeks before the planned first phase implementation of the program.
As part of our work with NSW Health, Painaustralia hosted a webinar: SafeScript NSW: What Real Time Prescription Monitoring means for you? held on 29 September 2021, to provide information about how the program may affect consumers. The webinar included NSW Health’s Andrew Hargreaves, Dr Chris Hayes (Painaustralia board director and pain specialist) and Kim Allgood (Painaustralia CAG member).
Painaustralia CEO, Carol Bennett hosted the SafeScript NSW webinar.
Andrew Hargreaves – Program Manager, RTPM representing the Safescript NSW implementation program.
Dr Chris Hayes – Painaustralia board director, specialist pain medicine physician at John Hunter Hospital and Director of the Hunter Integrated Pain Service
Kim Allgood - Painaustralia’s Consumer Advisory Group member