Minister’s intervention best for patients

Minister's intervention best for patients

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) applauds the intervention of the Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt to support MedsASSIST, the real-time recording and monitoring system for medicines containing codeine.

The system, developed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, was scheduled to be discontinued nationally from Thursday 30 March 2017, ten months ahead of regulatory changes that will see codeine-containing medicines classed as prescription-only medicines.

Kristin Michaels, CEO of SHPA says while the system could be improved, it provides an important safeguard against medicine misuse and diversion, and empowers clinicians to provide higher quality care to patients using medicines containing codeine.

‘While SHPA acknowledges limitations in the scope of MedsASSIST, we agree that the role it has played in the monitoring the supply of codeine-containing medicines is an important one, and unique in Australia.

Currently Tasmania is the only state committed to ongoing real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) to monitor the use of medicines with risk of dependence, diversion or misuse, with promising results prompting the Victorian Government to commit to building such a system in the coming year.’

Ms Michaels says today’s intervention by the Health Minister shows the value of a nationwide system of monitoring the dispensing of medicines to support patient safety.

‘Our members are progressive advocates for clinical excellence, committed to evidence-based practice and passionate about patient care.

‘On their behalf, SHPA supports all government initiatives that prioritise patient safety and seek to improve the medicines management pathway, a crucial component of clinical excellence and quality medicines management across Australia’s healthcare system.’

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Media coverage
'MedsASSIST common sense'Pharmacy Daily, Friday 31 March 2017.
'Common sense outcome on MedsASSIST', AJP, Thursday 30 March 2017.