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Prescribing drugs of dependence in general practice

Part A - Clinical Governance Framework

Appendix C. State and territory legislation and contacts

Last revised: 07 Nov 2019

Legislative requirement

Approval is required to prescribe a controlled medicine for more than 2 months; or if the patient has been prescribed a controlled medicine within the previous 2 months. Where more than one doctor at a medical clinic is involved in the management of a patient, each doctor may prescribe under the approval in place for another doctor at the clinic, provided the prescribing is consistent with and does not exceed any limits or condition of the approval.

Legislative requirement
 

Authority is required if patient is to receive continued treatment with specified9 drugs of addiction (Type B) for more than 2 months. No authority is required for the majority of oral and transdermal opioids.

Legislative requirement

Notification is required to prescribe non-restricted S8 substances for a period exceeding 8 weeks; a high initial dose; a high daily dose; a high combination dose of different S8s; replacement of lost or stolen prescriptions; for ‘early’ prescriptions; for a patient who has another S8 prescriber; for a patient who wants to transfer from another S8 prescriber; for any patient previously notified, a renewal notification must be made after 12 months if there has been a significant change to the S8 medication or a change to the person’s circumstances.
Authority is also required to prescribe restricted S8 substances.

Legislative requirement

Notification is required that the medical practitioner is prescribing or intending to prescribe an S8 drug for longer than 2 months. Approval needs to be sought prior to treating with any ‘specified condition drug’.

Legislative requirement

Authority is required before prescribing or supplying drugs of dependence for a patient’s regular use during a period exceeding 2 months. Treatment provided by other prescribers must be considered when calculating the 2-month period.

Legislative requirement

Authority is required to prescribe opioids for more than 2 months. Relevant specialist reports endorsing opioid treatment and dose should be sent with application. Concurrent prescribing of alprazolam with an opioid requires authority after 1 month’s prescribing.

Legislative requirement

A permit is required to prescribe a person with any S8 drug for a continuous period greater than 8 weeks. Only one valid permit is needed for treatment of a person by more than one medical practitioner in a multi-practitioner clinic.

Legislative requirement


Prior written authority is required by medical practitioners wishing to prescribe an S8 medicine for a patient who is a notified addict, or if for a period longer than 60 days in any 12-month period. Consultant support is required for ‘high risk criteria’ as per the S8 medicines prescribing code.

Source: Cran A. Misuse of opioid drugs. Defence Update: A quarterly publication for MDA National Members [Internet]. 2013.23


For links to useful fact sheets, refer to the below.

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008 

Pharmaceutical Services 

Pharmaceutical Services Section,
ACT Health
02 6205 0998

DACAS – Australian Capital Territory
03 9418 1082

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 

Pharmaceutical Services 

Pharmaceutical Services Unit, Legal and Regulatory Services Branch, NSW Health
02 9391 9944

DASAS – NSW
02 9361 8006 (Sydney)
1800 023 687 (Rural)

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2014 

Poisons Control

Poisons Control Unit, Department of Health and Community Services
08 8922 7341

DACAS – Northern Territory
1800 111 092

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 

Medicines Regulation and Quality 

Medicines Regulation and Quality, Queensland Health
07 3328 9890

GPs can phone ADIS
1800 177 833 to be put through to ATODS for clinical advice

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Controlled Substances Act 1984 

Medicines and Technology Policy and Progams 

Drugs of Dependence Unit, Department for Health
1300 652 584

DACAS – South Australia
08 8363 8633

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Poisons Act 1971

Pharmaceutical Services Branch 

Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Department of Health and Human Services
03 6166 0400

DACAS – Tasmania
1800 630 093

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Substances Act 1981 

Drugs and Poisons Regulation  

Drugs and Poisons Unit, Department of Human Services
1300 364 545

DACAS – Victoria
1800 812 804

Legislation

Contact (web)

Legislative contact (phone)

24-hour clinical advisory services

Poisons Act 1964 

Pharmaceutical Services Branch   

Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Department of Health
08 9222 6883

CAS
08 9442 5042

 

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