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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1754 ..

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Bill 2018

Ms Fitzharris, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.40): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Bill 2018 seeks to amend the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 and the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 to allow a monitored medicines database to be established in the ACT. As Minister for Health and Wellbeing, I am committed to minimising the harms that can arise from the misuse of controlled medicines.

The primary objective of this new database is supporting safe and appropriate prescribing and dispensing of medicines in our health system. It will give health professionals access to information about recently prescribed monitored medicines to assist them to identify and reduce harms like addiction and overdose that can be caused by the abuse and misuse of medicines. Of course, many people rely on medicines to support their health at times in their lives. However, some higher risk medicines, classified as controlled medicines, can cause serious harm when misused or abused. Examples of this are morphine and oxycodone, which are used to control severe pain; and dexamphetamine, which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

In an effort to help protect individual and community health, several state and territory coroners have recommended the implementation of real-time prescription monitoring databases, including in the ACT. Last year, I tabled the ACT government's response to the coronial inquiry into the tragic death of Mr Paul Fennessy. It recommended that all medical files, including mental health records, be available to clinical staff at the hospital when required and to implement the real-time monitoring system known as DORA. The government agreed to both recommendations and work is underway to implement them.

Today's legislation would allow medical professionals to use the monitoring system known as DORA to ensure doctors and pharmacists have access to the most up-to-date information available about medications recently supplied to their patients. The system is commonly described as a real-time system. What this means in practice is that within seven days of a schedule 8 medicine being prescribed, information will be uploaded to the database where it can be accessed in real time. It is my intention to make further regulatory changes upon the passing of this legislation to mandate that

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