Date: 7 March 2018
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia believes a nationally co-ordinated real-time monitoring system is essential to deal effectively with opioid abuse and misuse in Australia.
In a submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administrations’ Prescription strong (Schedule 8) opioid use and misuse in Australia – options for a regulatory response, the Guild also calls for an opioids roundtable to bring together all stakeholders to do whatever is in their respective powers to solve the problems of opioids in Australia.
Calling for real-time monitoring, the Guild said while there was an urgent need to address the opioid problem in Australia, the TGA’s suggestions were limited because it could only make recommendations within its powers contained in the Therapeutic Goods Act.
It said it did not believe the TGA’s suggestions would “effectively address the problems of the opioid crisis as they do not include a nationally consistent real time monitoring system which is the responsibility of the respective state and territory health departments.”
In its submission the Guild also notes it has now been almost three years since the Department of Health held an opioids roundtable meeting.
“The purpose of the opioids roundtable was to obtain stakeholder views on the PBS listings and restrictions for opioids.
“Whilst the focus was on PBS listings, discussion was held in a broader context and covered a range of issues associated with opioid use. Roundtable participants included representatives from consumer groups, industry, government and health professionals. The Guild believes that there is an urgent need for this Opioids Roundtable to be re-convened as part of the TGA’s current project so that the issues raised at this meeting and the discussion paper can be re-examined with a view to finding solutions.”
The Guild’s submission can be accessed here.