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MedsASSIST to be Discontinued

MedsASSIST – the real time recording system developed by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to help reduce the misuse of over-the-counter combination analgesic medicines containing codeine – will be discontinued nationally from the night of 31 January 2018.

The reason for the shutdown is that all of the medicines recorded in MedsASSIST will be up-scheduled to prescription only from 1 February, and the system will become redundant at that time.

Introduced nationally in March, 2016, MedsASSIST was designed specifically to record over-the-counter medicines containing codeine. MedsASSIST was not designed to record prescription medicines.

The MedsASSIST clinical decision support tool has recorded over 10 million transactions since it was introduced. The number of pharmacies voluntarily using MedsASSIST reached over 70 per cent.

The system has enabled pharmacists to identify at-risk patients, and has facilitated access to support resources and referral pathways when required.

When the codeine medicines move to prescription only, community pharmacists can provide advice on managing pain, recommend an alternative pain relief treatment available over the counter, or recommend a consultation with a GP.

Patients are advised to talk to their pharmacist about the options available.

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