NCETA contributes to high level stakeholder discussion on options for potential regulatory responses to problems with respect to prescription opioid use

June 2018

NCETA’s Professor Ann Roche and Roger Nicholas, along with other key stakeholders were invited to attend a full day meeting on 1 June 2018 convened by the Australian Government Department of Health’s Health Products Regulation Group. The Group, comprising the Therapeutic Goods Administration, has been examining issues associated with prescription strong (Schedule 8) opioid use and misuse. NCETA was identified as a key stakeholder based on the Centre’s program of work in this area over the past five years.

The aims of the meeting were to:

  • Further examine the extent and nature of prescription strong opioid misuse in Australia
  • Review the submissions provided by interested parties in response to the Health Products Regulation Group’s call for written comments in early 2018 to its consultation paper: Prescription strong (Schedule 8) opioid use and misuse in Australia – options for a regulatory response.

The consultation paper and the subsequent discussions at the meeting referenced the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action (2012-2015) developed by NCETA and noted that many of the Framework’s priority areas and proposed actions are still valid. To access a copy of the National Pharmaceutical Drug Misuse Framework for Action (2012-2015) click here.

NCETA staff also used the meeting to share information about the Centre’s recent work in this area, including:

  • Developing a resource for prescribers to assist them respond to patients experiencing opioid-related harms
  • Conducting a South Australian pharmaceutical opioid stakeholder workshop for prescribers, pharmacists, researchers, frontline AOD workers and primary health care staff on the prevention and management of pharmaceutical opioid-related problems
  • Co-facilitating a workshop on the impact of codeine rescheduling with the South Australian Network of Drug and Alcohol Services (SANDAS) for non-government AOD treatment services.