Prescription monitoring in Western Australia

WA Health will continue with its plan to overhaul the current pharmaceutical monitoring system after receiving a $1 million allocation, to support the change, in this year’s State Budget.

The funding will be used to replace the current Monitoring of Drugs of Dependence System MODDS with a modified Electronic Recording and Reporting of Controlled Drugs (ERRCD).

WA Health Chief Pharmacist Neil Keen said the current MODDS was almost 20 years old and unable to be upgraded to meet current business needs – including receiving real time reports from pharmacies and giving prescribers secure access to up to date prescribing histories for their patients.

“The ERRCD is a base system, available via free sub-licence from the Australian Government, that supports real time data transmission from pharmacies, online access to health professionals and administrative and compliance activities by regulators,” Mr Keen said.

“The EERCD will improve transparency of medication history, support informed clinical decision making, reduce inappropriate prescribing, limit potential for doctor shopping and assist in rapid identification of at-risk individuals who may benefit from referral to drug treatment or other interventions as required.”

The system is made up of three components comprising:

  • Regulator Portal – to support the administration of the poisons legislation and core business processes

  • Real time Reporting – to allow for the secure reporting of the dispensing of controlled drugs through integration with pharmacy dispensing systems

  • Health practitioner Portal – which provides authorised prescribers and pharmacists with access to up to date information on patient dispensing histories via a secure web portal.

The ERRCD will require modification to meet WA regulatory requirements and business needs, and therefore development and roll out of the system will be completed in stages.

The transition to the new system is expected to be completed by late 2018. Training and support will be available to pharmacists and prescribers closer to the date.

More information

  • Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
    Address: 189 Royal Street, East Perth, 6004
    Phone: 9222 6883
    poisons@health.wa.gov.au