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Pharmacotherapy network

Support for General Practitioners (GPs), pharmacists or practice staff to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people with an opioid dependence

Supporting health professionals treat people with an opioid dependence

Right now, high quality training is available to support GPs and pharmacists in providing pharmacotherapy services to people with opioid dependence. The training has been made possible through the RACGP in partnership with local pharmacotherapy area based networks established across Victoria, funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

The North West Melbourne Pharmacotherapy Network supports GPs to be paid to sit with an experienced pharmacotherapy trained GP to build their understanding, skills and competence in managing the needs of people with opioid dependence.

Led by cohealth, the North West Melbourne Pharmacotherapy Network is a partnership with Eastern Melbourne PHN, Harm Reduction Victoria, North Western Melbourne PHN and Western Health. The purpose is to support General Practitioners (GPs), pharmacists or practice staff and drug and alcohol clinicians to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for people with an opioid dependence.

We aim to enhance the Victorian community-based pharmacotherapy system by:

  • Working with stakeholders to facilitate integrated assessment, treatment and referral pathways.
  • Providing ongoing wrap-around support to GPs, pharmacists, nurses and practice staff to manage patients with an opioid dependence.
  • Supporting the delivery of Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence, also known as pharmacotherapy.
  • Facilitating access to Addiction Medicine Specialist support in the community, including out-post clinics.

Support available for health professionals includes:

  • Access to Addiction Medicine Specialist support provided by Western Health. Specialist assessment and development of integrated management plans is available where opioid dependence is a concern. Out-post clinics are conveniently located across the North West Melbourne area.
  • Peer-based mentoring for GPs to prescribe opioids safely, prevent and manage opioid dependence through Medication-Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD) also known as pharmacotherapy.
  • Clinical observation placements where trained GPs can sit with an experienced MATOD prescriber and increase their confidence to prescribe MATOD.
  • Access to ECHO Opioid Management weekly didactic and case-based learning led by our expert Addiction Medicine Specialist Team at St Vincent’s Hospital.
  • Training and professional development opportunities such as Communities of Practice and links to RACGP accredited training.
  • Provision of up-to-date resources, evidence-base and guidelines to effectively treat patients where opioid dependence is a concern.
  • Supporting medical practices to optimise their provision of MATOD in the community with MBS billing and reducing stigma.

The Pharmacotherapy Network is available to General Practitioners (GPs), pharmacists or practice staff, drug and alcohol clinicians. For more information about training opportunities and the Network contact us at:

Phone (03) 9448 5511

Fax (03) 7000 1822


More information

Free support to help you manage opioid dependant patients.

Download the flyer (563 kb)

Drugs and alcohol

 cohealth takes a harm reduction approach to supporting people who use alcohol and other drugs.

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