A real-time reporting system for controlled drugs may improve the safety of Schedule 8 medicines
Over the past decade, increased prescribing of pharmaceutical opioids in a number of countries has raised professional and public concern about iatrogenic opioid dependence and fatal opioid overdoses. Most fatal drug overdoses in the United States are now from opioids.1 Although not as high as in the US in absolute terms, the number of opioid prescriptions in Australia increased by around 300% between 1992 and 2007.2,3 This was accompanied by increased rates of injection of pharmaceutical opioids by people who regularly inject drugs,4 and professional concern about the appropriateness of prescribing these drugs for people with chronic non-cancer pain.
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