Talking pain: Opioid options and alternatives

Talking pain

Talking pain: Opioid options and alternatives

Each year 250,000 Australians are admitted to hospital because of problems related to their medicines – the healthcare costs associated with these hospital admissions are $1.4 billion annually.


The Australian Government, through the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) within the Department of Health, has implemented a number of regulatory changes in order to minimise the harms caused by opioid prescription medicines to Australians each year. The changes will ensure the safe and effective prescribing and use of opioids while maintaining access for patients who need them.


You can access the latest information about the changes to prescription opioids and how it impacts health professionals on the TGA website.


Australian Pharmacist Article on PBS changes for prescription opioids

Have a 2 minute read on this article that discusses the PBS changes for prescription opioids.


Learning modules to support pharmacists

PSA and SHPA are committed to supporting more informed and transparent conversations that ensure safer medicines use for all Australians experiencing pain.


Talking pain: Opioid options and alternatives includes four online learning modules, providing tailored advice to pharmacists on increasing awareness and understanding of appropriate opioid use, alternative treatments for pain, and how to effectively communicate with patients and consumers experiencing pain:

Module 1: Understand the appropriate treatment for pain

Module 2: Raising awareness of appropriate opioid use

Module 3: Improve understanding of alternative treatments to managing pain

Module 4: Appropriate communication for people with pain

Case scenario: Apply your knowledge


All modules are free for PSA and SHPA members.


The modules are part of a broader education program supported by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in the Department of Health, which includes the distribution of new opioid Cautionary and Advisory Labels (CAL) and supporting information to every community pharmacy and public and private hospital in the country

Working to change the system

Hear what Katja Naunton-Boom has to say about working as a General Practice Pharmacist.