NSW Pharmacy Guild president David Heffernan pointed out that misuse does not mean abuse. “For example, it may mean a person accidentally took two instead of one Panadeine.

“The prescription death rate is concerning. The data suggests that some patients with a prescription addiction may have previously sought access to OTC medication before MedsASSIST.”

“The real time recording must operate across pharmacies and doctors’ surgeries to be effective. As from February 1 there will be no real time monitoring system in place and there is no system in place to monitor prescription opioids.

“While the report mentions the announcement of a federal real time monitoring program, it is still just that—an announcement.”