Log in with your email address username.


Important notice

doctorportal Learning is on the move as we will be launching a new website very shortly. If you would like to sign up to dp Learning now to register for CPD learning or to use our CPD tracker, please email support@doctorportal.com.au so we can assist you. If you are already signed up to doctorportal Learning, your login will work in the new site so you can continue to enrol for learning, complete an online module, or access your CPD tracker report.

To access and/or sign up for other resources such as Jobs Board, Bookshop or InSight+, please go to www.mja.com.au, or click the relevant menu item and you will be redirected.

All other doctorportal services, such as Find A Doctor, are no longer available.

Prescription drug monitoring in Australia: capacity and coverage issues

- Featured Image

Recent years have seen increases in prescription of pharmaceutical opioids and benzodiazepines, and in the associated harms.1 This presents challenges for clinicians and governments regarding appropriate monitoring and responses. Real-time prescription drug monitoring programs (RT-PDMPs) are being considered in Australia2,3 to enable detection of drug diversion (when drugs are transferred from a licit to an illicit channel of distribution or use), and inappropriate prescribing or dispensing. RT-PDMPs are supported by professional bodies, but challenges exist for policy makers in terms of capacity and coverage.


The success of RT-PDMPs requires clear delineation of what information will be collected, who will have access to it, and how long records will be kept to ensure patient and practitioner privacy. Tasmania’s RT-PDMP (currently the only Australian RT-PDMP) offers benefits over systems which do not provide real-time data,2 but other jurisdictional policy makers must determine whether their systems will be proactive (eg, identify those at risk of abuse), or reactive and rely on prescriber and dispenser requests once a patient is deemed at risk. There is also concern that patients with genuine needs may not receive appropriate prescriptions for fear that they, or the prescriber,…