Canberra Script information for consumers

Canberra Script is the ACT Government’s new real time prescription monitoring system for health practitioners.

Canberra Script is a web portal providing prescribers and pharmacists important information before they write or dispense a prescription for a monitored medicine.

This will help make clinical decisions to keep you safe. It is important for your prescriber and pharmacist to know what high-risk medicines you are taking because some medicines taken in high doses, or when taken with other medicines, could be harmful. Your prescriber or pharmacist/s will be provided with comprehensive education and training on how to use Canberra Script to support them to ensure more safe and effective prescribing and dispensing of the high-risk medicines you are taking. 

All states and territories in Australia, including the ACT, have agreed to implement a real time prescription monitoring system to help save lives and reduce harm.

What medicines will be monitored in Canberra Script?

Medicines monitored as part of Canberra Script include all controlled (schedule 8) medicines and some prescription only (schedule 4) medicines that have been deemed high risk. Examples of monitored schedule 8 medicines include strong opioids for pain and stimulant medicines for ADHD.

Category Medicine
Opioids Including but not limited to buprenorphine, codeine, fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, pethidine, tapentadol, tramadol
Benzodiazepines Including but not limited to alprazolam, flunitrazepam, bromazepam, clobazam, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, midazolam, nitrazepam, oxazepam, temazepam
Other sleeping aids Zolpidem, zopiclone
Stimulants Dexamfetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methylphenidate
Other Ketamine, medicinal cannabis, pregabalin, quetiapine, gabapentin, all other Schedule 8 medicines not listed above
Will Canberra Script prevent me accessing my regular medicines?

Canberra Script is not intended to disadvantage patients who have a clinical need for a medicine that a prescriber is authorised to prescribe for you.

When prescribing or dispensing monitored medicines for a patient, prescribers and pharmacists may receive a prompt/notification directing them to review the patient’s medication history in Canberra Script. Prescribers and pharmacists can review the patient’s history in Canberra Script and have a discussion with them. The prompt/notification does not prevent health practitioners from prescribing or dispensing monitored medicines to patients. The medication history available in Canberra Script will provide additional information to prescribers and pharmacists to make their clinical decision.

Who has access to your records held in Canberra Script?

Health practitioners involved in your care are permitted under law to view your record in Canberra Script in the following circumstances:

  • when prescribing or supplying a monitored medicine to you
  • when applying for Chief Health Officer (CHO) approval
  • when reviewing your monitored medicine history as part of a consultation
  • when discussing your monitored medicine history with other eligible health practitioners who are involved in your care

The CHO can also authorise ACT Health officers to access Canberra Script as part of their regulatory role in ensuring the safe supply of medicines in the community.

What information is collected in Canberra Script?

Canberra Script contains information about monitored medicines that have been prescribed or dispensed in any state or territory for patients. Information displayed will include:

  • patient demographics details such as name, address, DOB
  • monitored medicine prescribing and dispensing history, and
  • any ACT Chief Health Officer approvals to prescribe a controlled medicine that are in place for them.  

The collection of this information is authorised by Chapter 6A of the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008. For further information on how the privacy of the information collected in Canberra Script is managed, please see the Canberra Script Privacy Policy Statement.

Can I choose not to have my information collected in Canberra Script?

If you are prescribed a medicine or it is dispensed, this information will be automatically displayed in the system. You cannot opt-out of having your information about your prescribed medicines displayed in Canberra Script.

How can I correct a record in Canberra Script?

The Canberra Script database contains a copy of prescribing and dispensing information that is held in your prescriber’s or pharmacist’s clinical system. Canberra Script does not alter this information.

In many cases an error or omission is likely to be due to an error by your prescriber or pharmacist. You can make a request directly to your prescriber or pharmacist to review their records. When they make a change in their clinical system, the information will be automatically updated in Canberra Script.

If you believe there is an error in a record that cannot be updated by your prescriber or pharmacist, you can request an amendment by emailing

How is my privacy is protected in Canberra Script?

Your personal health information is protected by law. The Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997 requires that:

  • your personal health information is only collected, accessed, used and disclosed for authorised purposes
  • your personal health information is stored securely
  • you are provided with clear information about what personal health information is held about you and how you might go about getting access to it or requesting that it be corrected where necessary.

All Canberra Script user (such as a prescriber or a pharmacist) accessing personal health information must comply with both the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 and the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. Prescribers or pharmacists may also be required comply with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), or with other State/Territory privacy legislation if they are located outside the ACT.

Canberra Script records information about who accesses the system, when they access the system and which records they view. This information will be used by the Directorate to monitor access to ensure that Canberra Script is being used appropriately. If inappropriate use by a health practitioner is detected, penalties may apply under ACT law and the matter may also be referred to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) for investigation and possible disciplinary action.

For more information, please refer to the Canberra Script Terms of Use.

How can I make a privacy complaint?

If you are concerned about your privacy being breached, you can make a complaint to ACT Health about how your health information has been handled in Canberra Script, please contact the ACT Chief Pharmacist, Pharmaceutical Services by emailing

Page last updated on: 23 Feb 2022