Health | April 26, 2016

Kealy - Support for prescription drug monitoring

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP has praised the efforts of local campaigners including the Wimmera Drug Action Taskforce and the Millington family of Nhill, following the announcement of almost $30 million for the implementation of a real-time prescription drug monitoring program.

“I commend the strong advocacy of Margaret and John Millington from Nhill who tragically lost their son Simon in 2010 due to prescription medication overdose. They have open-heartedly shared their story to raise awareness of the need for real-time monitoring to save other families from losing a loved one as they did,” Ms Kealy said.

“For some time I have been calling for a state-wide prescription drug monitoring program to give pharmacists and prescribers access to a patient’s dispensing history of medications, such as oxycodone and morphine, at the time of consultation.

“The Nationals-Liberal Coalition committed funding to this vital prescription management program prior to the 2014 state election. While it’s later than we wanted, it is fabulous that a state-wide real-time prescription drug monitoring system will now be a reality,” she said.

Emma Kealy MP is a strong supporter and advocate of ‘ScriptWise’ who have held many events to raise awareness of the expanding problem in Australia of prescription drug abuse.

Since 2012, there have been 21 coronial findings calling for the implementation of a Victorian real-time prescription monitoring system.

In 2015, 330 Victorians lost their lives due to prescription drug overdoses – 5 per cent more than the previous year. This is higher than the 217 overdose deaths from illicit drugs and the 252 people killed in road accidents. 

“The Government must ensure a seamless roll out of real-time prescription drug monitoring to save local lives, reduce prescription shopping and minimise harm from drug addiction,” Ms Kealy said.

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