The NSW Ministry of Health issues authorities to medical practitioners to prescribe drugs of addiction (Schedule 8 drugs), including opioid medications for chronic pain.
An authority from the Ministry of Health is required to prescribe or supply a drug of addiction for:
  1. a drug dependent person
  2. a non-drug dependent person who is prescribed or supplied with the following drugs of addiction continuously for more than 2 months:
    • any injectable form of any drug of addiction
    • alprazolam (expected to be in force from 1 February 2014)
    • buprenorphine (except transdermal preparations)
    • flunitrazepam
    • hydromorphone
    • methadone

Interstate prescribers intending for their patients to have their medicine supplied from a pharmacy in NSW (such as prescribers practising near the NSW border) will need to apply for authorisation.

Note: This State authority is separate to the authority that may be required from Medicare Australia for a patient to receive a subsidised PBS medicine.

An authority is not required to prescribe a drug of addiction to a person (drug dependent or non drug dependent) who is admitted to a hospital as an inpatient, unless the stay exceeds 14 consecutive days.

To apply for authorisation to prescribe a drug of addiction use the Application for Authority to Prescribe a Drug of Addiction - Form 1

Fax the completed form and supporting documentation to Pharmaceutical Services on (02) 9424 5889. Practices without fax facilities can post forms and supporting documentation to Pharmaceutical Services, NSW Ministry of Health, Locked Mail Bag 961, North Sydney NSW 2059.

See prescribe a psychostimulant medication for information about psychostimulant prescribing.

For assistance or further information contact the Monitoring and Compliance Section, Pharmaceutical Services on (02) 9424 5923 during business hours.

Page Updated: Friday 8 April 2016