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Health Ombudsman supports action on prescription medicines

The Health Ombudsman today welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Health of action to reform the management and regulation of the most potent and addictive drugs used in the Queensland health system.

Health Ombudsman Leon Atkinson-MacEwen said the planned reforms adopted a number of the recommendations from his comprehensive 18-month review into the regulatory system for scheduled medicines in Queensland.

“In my report, I made 16 recommendations for how the system could be improved to better protect the health and safety of the public and health practitioners,” Mr Atkinson MacEwen said.

“This included a recommendation that the Department of Health introduce a real-time prescription monitoring system to provide prescribers, dispensers, and regulators with immediate and up-to-date access to information on patients’ medication usage and doctors prescribing patterns.

“The reforms announced today are a step in the right direction and I look forward to seeing how this important program of work will be implemented.”

Mr Atkinson-MacEwen said the system for regulating scheduled medicines in Queensland was complex and consisted of multiple agencies with overlapping policy and regulatory functions and responsibilities.

The Health Ombudsman’s report into medicine regulation in Queensland was published in November 2016 and is available from the Office of the Health Ombudsman website (www.oho.qld.gov.au).

Media contact: For more information contact the Office of the Health Ombudsman on email media@oho.qld.gov.au.