A $7 million pledge to implement a real-time drug prescription monitoring system has been issued by Victorian Health Minister, David Davis. The Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system is designed to combat pharmaceutical drug misuse through allowing doctors and pharmacists to electronically track whether a prescription has already been used – thereby preventing ‘doctor shopping’ of prescription drugs.
The lack of a centralised database allows patients to purchase Schedule 8 dependency drugs from multiple pharmacies with a single prescription. By using ERRCD systems to more closely track the use of these drugs, doctors and pharmacists can identify potential misuse and take action.
A 2014-15 budget submission by the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended a $55 million commitment over four years to the system, however despite the smaller amount promised by the Government, it was welcomed by Dr Tony Bartone, President of AMA Victoria.
"The rising number of Victorians misusing, being addicted to and overdosing on prescription medications warrants government action through the implementation of real-time prescription monitoring. This is a much-needed announcement and many families will be relieved to hear this," said Tony Bartone.
Victorian Shadow Health Minister Gavin Jennings has not publically stated whether Labor will match this promise.
The Victorian state election takes place on 29 November 2014.