When prescribing a Schedule 4 or 8 drugs to a resident, particularly one who is drug dependent, GPs need to notify the RACF staff so that this information can be included on the resident’s medication chart.
Most medicine used in residential aged care services is supplied for administration to specific patients, in the same way the medicine is supplied for a person in private residential accommodation.
If a GP observes excessive use of Schedule 4 or 8 drugs among residents, it is important that the GP develops a plan to reduce level of medication needed in those circumstances. The GP may involve other specialist services if required.
State and territory departments and government-funded drugs of dependence units provide information for medical practitioners in each state and territory.
Legislation for prescribing Schedule 8 medications in Western Australia
The Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code governs the prescribing of Schedule 8 (S8) medicines in Western Australia. The Western Australia Department of Health authorises any prescription of S8 benzodiazepines or S8 opioid treatment that meets any of the criteria set out in Section 2.5.1 of the Code for each individual patient. Practitioners are required to contact the Schedule 8 Prescriber Information Service (available by telephone on 08 9222 4424) to obtain advice on a patient’s prescribing and dispensing history prior to prescribing any of the listed medicines under the Code. Information about the criteria and requirements are available here.
See Part A: Medication management for further information about prescribing medications.
See Part A: Pain regarding the pharmacological management of pain.