Introducing SafeScript NSW

9/11/2021


What is SafeScript NSW?

NSW Health is implementing SafeScript NSW, a real time prescription monitoring system to help reduce the harm associated with the unsafe use of certain high-risk medicines, known as monitored medicines.

In 2019, there were 1,644 unintentional deaths due to drug overdoses in Australia. Of these, 429 (26%) deaths were due to pharmaceutical opioids. Benzodiazepines are increasingly identified in unintentional drug-induced deaths. There were 582 deaths involving benzodiazepines in 2019, accounting for a third (35%) of all unintentional drug-induced deaths.

How does SafeScript NSW work?

SafeScript NSW provides prescribers (general practitioners, other specialists and nurse practitioners) and pharmacists with real-time information about a person's prescribing and dispensing history for monitored medicines such as opioids (like codeine, morphine or oxycodone) and benzodiazepines (like Valium, Mogadon or Xanax).

Access to this information helps prescribers or pharmacists to make safer clinical decisions about a person's care. Some medicines taken in high doses, or when taken with others, can be dangerous even fatal. 

SafeScript NSW does not tell a health practitioner what to do or whether a medicine should or should not be prescribed or dispensed. The decision remains with the prescriber and pharmacist as they are best placed to determine the safest and best option based on the person's needs and individual circumstances.

What is included in the monitored medicines list?

An expert panel was established to advise NSW Health on the medicines that should be monitored in SafeScript NSW. The panel also considered similar programs in other states and territories when determining the monitored medicines list for NSW. 

NSW monitored medicines includes:

Category
Medicine
​Opioids 

​Including but not limited to buprenorphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, pethidine, tapentadol, tramadol

​Benzodiazepines (prescribed for anxiety or sleep)

​Including but not limited to alprazolam, flunitrazepam, bromazepam, clobazam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, nitrazepam, oxazepam, temazepam

​Other sleeping aids

​Zolpidem, zopiclone

​Psychostimulants (prescribed for ADHD and narcolepsy)

​Dexamfetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate

​Other
Ketamine, pregabalin, quetiapine
All other Schedule 8 medicines not listed above

Do you live or work in the Hunter New England or Central Coast regions? If so, NSW Health wants to hear from you.

SafeScript NSW has rolled out in the Hunter New England and Central Coast regions and will be available to prescribers and pharmacists in other NSW areas in 2022.

NSW Health is keen to learn about consumers' experience and awareness of SafeScript NSW.  

If you live or work in the Hunter New England or Central Coast regions, you're invited to complete a short survey.  The information provided will help to inform how SafeScript NSW is rolled out more broadly next year.

Complete the survey by 30 November for your chance to win one of two $100 gift vouchers.

Where to find more information

For more information visit SafeScript NSW.

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