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About QScript

In 2018 the Commonwealth Department of Health in collaboration with the states and territories proposed a new federated real-time prescription monitoring solution. Under this model, states and territories have integrated or intend to integrate with a national data exchange to enable a real-time prescription monitoring system in each jurisdiction.

QScript is Queensland’s real-time prescription monitoring system.

QScript is now available, and relevant practitioners can register for and use the system.

Under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019, relevant practitioners (medical practitioners, pharmacists, intern pharmacists, nurse practitioners, endorsed midwives, dentists, podiatric surgeons and endorsed podiatrists) are required to check QScript for patient records before:

  • prescribing a monitored medicine for a patient
  • dispensing a monitored medicine for a patient
  • giving a treatment dose of a monitored medicine for a patient.

This applies to relevant health practitioners in all settings, including those in private and public hospitals, aged care facilities, prisons, and other health services.

Visit QScript to login in to the system, register for access or access training resources.

The importance of QScript for Queensland

Every 2 minutes 1 Australian is hospitalised because of prescription medicines

Prescription medicines are available to prevent, manage, treat and cure disease, but statistics show that certain prescription medicines are commonly a cause of considerable physical, mental and social harms. Deaths and harms caused by prescription medicines are significant public health issues.

There is a growing challenge to increase awareness about the potential risks of prescription medicines, and to implement mechanisms that promote the quality use of medicines and minimise harm. Reducing prescription medicine-related harms is multifaceted and requires both system level and individual level action to succeed.

QScript is one component of the system level changes occurring in Queensland to improve the safe and quality use of certain prescription medicines called monitored medicines.

Download the factsheet of information on QScript for health practitioners (PDF 120 kB)

For more information on the implementation of QScript, download the most recent QScript Implementation Report (PDF 349 kB)

Who has access to QScript

The following health practitioners, who are able to prescribe or dispense monitored medicines, can access QScript:

  • medical practitioners
  • pharmacists
  • nurse practitioners
  • endorsed midwives
  • dentists
  • podiatric surgeons and endorsed podiatrists

Other health practitioners may also be authorised to prescribe monitored medicines in limited circumstances or subject to certain conditions.

The health practitioners listed above need to register for QScript, if they prescribe, dispense or give treatment doses of monitored medicines, if they haven’t already done so. Read more information on requirements of health practitioners.

Medicines captured by QScript

QScript captures a comprehensive list of medicines that have a recognised therapeutic use but may also present a high risk of physical, mental and social harms. The Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 refers to these medicines as ‘monitored medicines’. Monitored medicines are:

  • all schedule 8 medicines (e.g. opioids, alprazolam, nabiximols, dexamfetamine)
  • the following schedule 4 medicines:
    • all benzodiazepines
    • codeine
    • gabapentin
    • pregabalin
    • quetiapine
    • tramadol
    • zolpidem
    • zopiclone.

The list of monitored medicines has been determined based on local and international research and incorporates the recommendations of a multi-disciplinary working party. Numerous factors were considered when determining whether a medicine was suitable for inclusion in the list, including the evidence of harm (on its own or in combination with other substances) and trends in prescribing, misuse, and abuse.

Ongoing research and trends in prescribing medicine will inform any future changes to the monitored medicines list.

About QScript

QScript is a read-only online system that integrates with the everyday workflow of compatible prescribing and dispensing software. When integrated with clinical software, QScript generates notifications to prompt health practitioners to review a patient’s monitored medicine prescription history at the point of care.

The data in QScript is collected automatically from Prescription Exchange Services (PESs) which currently support the transfer of electronic prescriptions and prescription information from prescribers to pharmacies.

When a monitored medicine prescription is issued by a prescriber or dispensed at a pharmacy connected to a PES, the PES sends a record of the prescription to QScript in real-time.

Video transcript

Healthcare happens in real-time. So health practitioners need real-time information to support their clinical decisions.

QScript is Queensland's real-time prescription monitoring system. It captures information about certain medicines, called monitored medicines, which can present a high risk of patient harm.

So how does QScript work? QScript securely receives monitored medicine prescription data automatically in real-time via a cloud-based system. Prescribers and pharmacists can access this information to inform their clinical decision-making.

When integrated with clinical software, QScript can deliver important alerts and notifications using a traffic light system. A red notification means a potentially high-risk circumstance. An amber notification means patient data is available. And a green notification means no patient data currently exists. The traffic light system prompts health practitioners to carefully review the patient's history, but does not prevent prescribing or dispensing.

While QScript is designed to integrate with existing software and clinical workflows, it's also accessible via a secure web-based portal.

Visit QScript online for more information.

Deciding the best course of treatment is the responsibility of those individual health practitioners involved in a patient's care, and the principles of the quality use of medicines remain. Read more about the system in practice (PDF 124 kB).


The Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 gives the head of power for the establishment of the real-time prescription monitoring system, called QScript. Read more about how QScript is regulated, and the requirements of health practitioners.


Monitored Medicines Unit

Last updated: 5 May 2023