Time for real-time prescription monitoring


This is so needed and the overuse in the acute setting, especially in hospitals is so true. In busy EDs and wards it is simply the easy answer – zonk them out with an Endone and they don’t bother anyone or, even better, can be sent home “pain-free” for the GP to pick up the pieces and sort out the cause of the pain.
Or, sadly with some revolving door situations the addiction

Doctor's bag

Real-time prescription monitoring

It’s a sobering fact: more people die from drug overdose than road traffic crashes.

Perhaps even more concerning is that most of these overdose deaths in Australia are not caused by illicit drugs, but by the fatal mixture of two or more pharmaceuticals – often medications I and my colleagues prescribe to help people improve the quality of their lives.

Take-home message one: The combination of opioids (like oxycontin) and medications such as benzodiazepines (e.g. valium) can be fatal – even more so if mixed with alcohol.

Dealing with drug dependence

Abuse of prescription drugs is a big problem and doctors and pharmacists are often unaware that some of their patients collect prescriptions from several prescribers and pharmacies. This can go unnoticed because our computer systems are not yet linked and the reporting systems have flaws.

For several years the RACGP, AMA and other health bodies have called for the…

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