Death data prompts real-time recording call

The Pharmacy Guild has renewed calls for real time recording of controlled medicines after new data revealed prescription drugs cause most overdoses.

Over two thirds of the 668 Australian overdose deaths in 2013 were caused by pharmaceutical opioids, according to ABS data published by Fairfax Media.

The Guild’s Victorian branch president, Anthony Tassone, says pharmacists and doctors shouldn’t have to tackle prescription drug dependence without the full knowledge real-time recording would provide.

Once codeine analgesics are upscheduled, GPs will have “little or no ability” to know if a patient requesting codeine already has a prescription from another doctor.

“That’s why a nationally consistent real time recording system must be implemented urgently,” Mr Tassone says.

While federal health minister Greg Hunt has committed to a national system, it