About ScriptCheckWA

ScriptCheckWA is Western Australia’s real-time prescription monitoring system.

The importance of ScriptCheckWA for Western Australians

Prescription drug dependence and overdose, as well as misuse and diversion for non-medical use, are major public health concerns both in Australia and internationally.

Over the last decade, the annual number of unintentional drug-induced deaths has continued to rise in Western Australia. Opioids are the drugs most commonly associated with drug-induced deaths and pharmaceutical opioids, rather than heroin, are involved in a significant number of these deaths.

In 2020, across Australia, the number of overdose deaths exceeded the road toll for the seventh consecutive year (Australia's Annual Overdose Report 2022, Penington Institute (external site)). In Western Australia, 211 people died due to unintentional overdoses in 2020 while there were 155 road fatalities during the same year.

Real-time prescription monitoring systems, such as ScriptCheckWA, are one strategy to promote quality use of medicines and reduce the risks associated with opioids and other medicines that can result in dependency and be harmful in overdose.

Alerting prescribers and pharmacists to potential risks in real-time can help them make safer decisions before prescribing or dispensing a monitored medicine, and potentially reduce the risk of death caused by preventable overdose.

Access to ScriptCheckWA

Doctors, pharmacists and other prescribers of monitored medicines, such as nurse practitioners, may view records about their patients in ScriptCheckWA.

Authorised Department of Health officers can also access ScriptCheckWA, as part of their regulatory role.

All ScriptCheckWA users have to register to use the system and identity checks are part of the registration process. In addition, a log is created each time a registered user views a patient’s record in the system.

Multi-factor authentication is required for users to log on to ScriptCheckWA.

Medicines monitored through ScriptCheckWA 

Currently, all medicines classified as controlled drugs (also known as Schedule 8 medicines) are monitored through ScriptCheckWA. These medicines have been monitored by the Department of Health in Western Australia for many years, through the provision of dispensing records by all pharmacies across the state.

Schedule 8 medicines include:

  • Opioids such as morphine, oxycodone and tapentadol
  • Stimulant medicines such as dexamfetamine, lisdexamfetamine and methylphenidate
  • Alprazolam and flunitrazepam
  • Medicinal cannabis
  • Methadone and buprenorphine used for opioid substitution therapy (OST, also known as the Community Program for Opioid Pharmacotherapy or CPOP).

In the future, certain other high-risk prescription only (Schedule 4) medicines will be added to ScriptCheckWA. These medicines are described as ‘Schedule 4 reportable’ medicines in the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 and will be listed in the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016.

Monitored Schedule 4 medicines are likely to include benzodiazepines, codeine-based analgesics, gabapentin, pregabalin, quetiapine, tramadol, zolpidem and zopiclone.

Information recorded in ScriptCheckWA

The data in ScriptCheckWA is information that forms part of the Drugs of Addiction Record, as detailed in the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014.

Information available to health practitioners about the medicines monitored through ScriptCheckWA includes:

  • Details of prescriptions issued
  • Details of prescriptions dispensed
  • Regulatory authorisations issued to prescribers
  • Alerts relating to high-risk criteria, such as whether a person has been prescribed high doses of opioids or is recorded as experiencing drug dependency.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883
Email: MPRB@health.wa.gov.au

Last reviewed: 21-03-2023
Produced by

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch