Mandatory use of SafeScript commences 1 April 2020
The SafeScript initiative is focused on reducing the misuse and harms from high-risk prescription medicines. Deaths from prescription medicines now exceed that from illicit drugs and road deaths.
SafeScript is a clinical tool that allows prescription records for certain high-risk medicines to be transmitted in real-time to a centralised database and monitored.
SafeScript can then be accessed by registered doctors, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists to make safer clinical decisions and identify where patients may be receiving high-risk medicines beyond medical need.
Medicines monitored in SafeScript are those causing the greatest harm in the community. This includes all Schedule 8 medicines and selected Schedule 4 medicines such as benzodiazepines, zolpidem and zopiclone, quetiapine and codeine.
Prescribers and pharmacists can register for SafeScript by setting up their username and password for secure access at www.safescript.vic.gov.au.
For further information on SafeScript, including system set up technical support for general practices and pharmacies, visit the Victorian Government SafeScript website.
For help using the SafeScript web app for mobile phones see https://help.mobile.safescript.vic.gov.au
Information and resources on system set up for general practices and pharmacies, as well as health professional training and patient information:
- Schedule 8 permit checklist
- Morphine Equivalent Dose & Opioid Tapering Calculator
- Safer Use of Opioids
- Managing Pain and Opioid Medicines - consumer resource post hospital discharge
Consumer SafeScript Pharmaceutical Helpline 24/7 - PH: 1800 737 233
We provide training opportunities for prescribers and pharmacists:
- SafeScript Training Hub
- Online training modules
- Safescript training for prescribers and pharmacists - Face-to-face events on 17 and 24 March
Support for management of patients with overuse/unsafe use problems
Drug and Alcohol Clinical Advisory Service (DACAS)
1800 812 804
Free 24/7 telephone consultancy service for clinicians. Staffed by addiction medicine specialists to provide advice on:
- management of dependence in patients with pain disorders
- management of withdrawal
- medication for substance use disorders
- prescribing drugs of dependence
- referral information
Medication Support and Recovery Service – MSRS
1800 931 101
The Medication Support and Recovery Service (MSRS) is a new treatment service for people who are dependent on, or having problems with, their use of prescription or over-the-counter medications. These people often do not identify as ‘drug dependent’ and are less likely to access traditional alcohol and drug services.
The MSRS is provided from Community Health Centres and is well positioned to support GPs to manage patients identified in SafeScript as having developed misuse or dependency problems.
The Community Health setting facilitates access to a range of co-located services including:
- Individual and family counselling
- Nursing and withdrawal support
- Peer support and group programs
- Other health services (physiotherapy, chronic pain services and sleep clinics)
- Referral to specialist addiction medicine and pharmacotherapy services, residential withdrawal and rehabilitation
The MSRS is an initiative of Connect4Health – a collaboration of community health services in inner east Melbourne, in partnership with Inspiro Health Service and healthAbility, and funded by EMPHN to provide service coverage across the EMPHN catchment.
1300 273 266
Support for people experiencing anxiety disorders, depression and benzodiazepine dependence.
Other options for GPs:
Consider prescribing pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence
- All GPs can prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) for up to 5 patients without completing prescriber training
- An S8 treatment permit and supervised dosing at a pharmacy providing pharmacotherapy service is required. Click herefor prescribing guidelines
- Support is available for new prescribers – contact your Pharmacotherapy Area Network
- There is opportunity for shared care with an Addiction Medicine Specialist
- Request a QUM topic visit on De-Mystifying Opioid Replacement Therapy
Assist Patients to access Pain Management Services
A range of evidence-based online pain management courses are available
NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation – Pain Management Network
Information to enable consumers to develop skills and knowledge in the self-management of pain in partnership with healthcare providers
eCentre Clinic Pain Course, Macquarie University
Free, online and internet-delivered pain management program to teach practical skills for managing the impact of pain on day-to-day activities and emotional wellbeing
This Way Up - Online Multidisciplinary Pain Management Program
- Requires clinician and patient registration. Patient cost for 4 months access to the eight module program is $59.00
- Prescribed by health professionals as an adjunct to care or for those who are unable to attend a face-to-face pain management program.
- Created by Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression and the Department of Pain Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney. More information here.