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Clinical guidelines

Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice, Part A
Clinical governance framework


Witnessing the growing problem of prescription drug deaths in Australia is confronting for those of us dedicated to good health outcomes for our patients. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is determined to take a proactive role in addressing this problem.

Our concerns about mortality and morbidity in this area are echoed by the broader health sector, health authorities and consumer groups. Prescription drug harms and deaths touch the lives of men and women of all ages and all demographics. Unfortunately, appropriate primary and secondary services to address problematic drug use are often not given high priority by society or governments.

This problem does not have a quick solution. The issues are complex and will require a coordinated effort to resolve effectively. General practice is not solely responsible for managing this problem, but it is an issue in our consulting rooms that we need to address.

This guide on clinical governance is a starting place for general practice to be a solution to problematic prescription drug use. The guide is a living document and will be regularly updated.

The RACGP would like to thank the key advisers, reviewers and the many state- and territory-based organisations and individuals who have provided thoughtful and constructive feedback in the development of this guide. Coordination with other services is essential to effect a constructive solution.

The RACGP welcomes feedback on this guide to continually improve services at the general practice level, and looks forward to ongoing collaboration with key agencies to improve care in this sector. Please use the feedback section on our website to help co-create this guide.

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