ACT to roll out new prescription monitoring system


A new real-time prescription monitoring (RTPM) system will be rolled out in the ACT next year to help prevent ‘doctor shopping’.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith today announced ‘Canberra Script’ would replace the current prescription monitoring system implemented in 2019 with select pilot sites to be given access later this year.

RTPM provides information to doctors and pharmacists about a patient’s history and use of controlled medicines such as high strength painkillers. It’s designed to identify patients exhibiting drug seeking behaviour or who are doctor shopping for prescribed medicines.

Canberra Script is the ACT’s version of the national RTPM system, where each state and territory will implement their own system compatible with the national database.

“Australia has a growing problem with the misuse and abuse of pharmaceuticals. This can have a devastating impact on individuals and their families,” said Ms Stephen-Smith. 

“Canberra Script will give ACT doctors, nurse practitioners and pharmacists a better view of what their consumers are using.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT Health directorate has started working with practitioners across Canberra to inform them of the new system, its key features and the benefits.

The use of the system will initially be voluntary for practitioners, with the ACT Government to evaluate whether to mandate its use after the rollout.

“Working directly with practitioners and representative groups and seeking their feedback on the system now, we aim to deliver a system across the ACT that all health practitioners who prescribe or dispense monitored medicines will want to use.”

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