DORA - Drugs and Poisons Information System Online Remote Access

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Access to real time decision support when prescribing drugs of dependence

DORA is a webpage based information system allowing clinicians timely secure access to a Department of Health (DoH) database to view clinical information and dispensing data relating to Schedule 4 and 8 opioids and all other Schedule 8 drugs.


The misuse, overuse and abuse of opioids and other drugs of dependence is a significant public health issue in Tasmania. To address this DoH is progressing a number of initiatives that aim to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with the misuse and diversion of prescription drugs of a high abuse potential. In July 2008 development of a real time reporting system (RTR) for Schedule 8 drugs and alprazolam began. It is a mandatory requirement for pharmacies to securely report their Schedule 4 and 8 opioids and all other Schedule 8 drug data in real time. This project has enabled Pharmaceutical Services Branch (PSB) to maintain a more up to date data set therefore enabling more timely advice to clinicians to help safeguard patient and community safety.


DORA accesses the DoH database and displays the relevant data on a secure web based interface for users such as medical practitioners and pharmacists. Registered users can determine what Schedule 4 and 8 opioids or other Schedule 8 drugs have been dispensed for a particular patient, whether a doctor holds an authority to prescribe for the patient and whether the patient has ever been the subject of a circular restricting their access to drugs of dependence, or has been declared drug dependent or a drug seeker by a medical practitioner under Section 59 of the Poisons Act 1971.

While prescribers and pharmacists are currently able to call PSB and obtain relevant information in relation to drugs of dependence during business hours, DORA delivers a highly useful clinical decision support tool at the time the patient is being seen by the medical practitioner or pharmacist.  DORA enables secure access to information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for registered users who are considering prescribing or dispensing drugs of dependence and are unsure of their patient’s previous clinical history relating to these drugs.

What's next?

Since 2012 DORA has been progressively rolled out across a number of general practices and pharmacies in Tasmania. PSB has received feedback from users that they are finding DORA to be a useful clinical tool. PSB is assisting the expansion of the numbers of general practices and pharmacies that have access to DORA. If you are interested in learning more about how DORA will assist with your clinical decision making, or if you wish to sign up, then please contact the Branch on 6166 0400 or

Sam Halliday
Acting Chief Pharmacist 
GPO Box 125, Hobart, Tasmania 7001
Enquiries: (03) 6166 0400 Fax: (03) 6173 0820

October 2018