New program to monitor medicine use

THE National Prescribing Service will oversee a new $16 million program to monitor the uptake and use of prescription medicines, collecting data from a network of 500 general practices and up to 2.5 million de-identified patient records.

NPS CEO Dr Lynn Weekes (PhD) said the MedicineWatch program, announced in Tuesday’s Federal Budget, would complement existing data sources and investigate how medicines are prescribed and their positive and negative impacts on health in Australian patients.

“Often the long-term safety and effectiveness of medicines can only be established once a drug has entered the