Studies have shown that, in recent years, more Victorians have died from overdoses involving prescription medicines than from illicit drugs or the road toll.
As an attempt to respond to this issue, Victoria’s SafeScript is now live. It becomes compulsory from 1 April 2020.
What is Safescript?
Safescript is a Victorian clinical tool that provides access to a patient’s prescription history in Victoria for high risk medicines to enable safer clinical decisions.
Which medicines are monitored?
Monitored medicines include:
Who is concerned and how it is to be used?
From 1 April 2020, medical practitioners will need to check SafeScript when prescribing or dispensing a high-risk medicine. Under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, penalties of 100 penalty units can apply ($16,500) if they fail to check Safescript when prescribing the listed drugs.
From 1 April 2020, pharmacists will also have to take all reasonable steps to check SafeScript when supplying a high-risk medicine.
There are offences and strict penalties under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 for improper or unauthorised use of SafeScript.
SafeScript is computer software that provides doctors and pharmacists with a comprehensive history of the high-risk medicines you have been prescribed to help them make better decisions about your care and keep you safe.
Only doctors and pharmacists involved in your care are permitted under law to view information about you in SafeScript.
Patients are not able to opt-out or restrict what medication history can be viewed in SafeScript. This is necessary to ensure a comprehensive medication history can be captured to allow health professionals to make safer clinical decisions and reduce the harm caused by high-risk medicines.
A log is created each time a record is viewed in SafeScript and this is monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services. If inappropriate use is detected, health professionals may face penalties under Victorian law and the matter may be referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency for further investigation.
Health professionals must always adhere to privacy requirements set out in the Health Records Act 2001 and Privacy Act 1988 when handling patients’ health information. The Health Privacy Principles and Australian Privacy Principles specify the circumstances where health professionals can access, collect, use or disclose health information about an individual.
For more information, please consult Victoria’s hub for health services and business website at