The Federal Government has committed over $16 million to a national real-time prescription monitoring system.

The scheme has been designed to target the misuse of certain prescription drugs by instantly alerting pharmacists and doctors when patients receive multiple supplies of prescriptions containing morphine, oxycodone, dexamphetamine and alprazolam.

Both the Australian Medical Association and Pharmacy Guild have been campaigning for such a system.

The national electronic reporting and recording of controlled drugs (ERRCD) system was initially funded in 2010, but has only been fully introduced in Tasmania.

New South Wales and Victoria are in the process of implementing the centralised tracking system.

Health minister Greg Hunt said it would help eradicate the misuse of prescription medication.

“With this injection of funding – and close collaboration with states and territories – we have the means to provide a nationally consistent, mandated system for real time monitoring of controlled drugs,” he said.

“Real time reporting will assist doctors and pharmacists to identify patients who are at risk of harm due to dependency, misuse or abuse of controlled medicines, and patients who are diverting these medicines.”