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Electronic assistance with managing abuse of prescription drugs

In some Australian states, overdoses involving prescription drugs contribute to the deaths of more people than the road toll each year1. Many of these are preventable, but the ability to ensure maximum safety for patients is currently hampered by the lack of a national system for electronically recording and reporting controlled drugs.

Prescribing doctors need to have an awareness of a patient’s prescribing history and ideally, all prescribers, dispensers and regulators of drugs should be able to share prescribing and dispensing information. The RACGP is advocating for national implementation of the Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD) system for management of prescription drugs. 

The RACGP strongly supports the urgent implementation of the ERRCD. Although this system currently only allows viewing of Schedule 8 drug dispensing information, the RACGP believes the system should be expanded to include all drugs, including other drugs of dependence such as benzodiazepines. Further information and recommendations are in the attached discussion paper below.