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The Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) is an evidence-based program that helps people improve their overall health, live a more stable life and be able to work and care for their children and loved ones. OTP not only helps people living with opioid dependence, but also helps their families and communities.

Community pharmacists provide an essential service to the NSW community and are invaluable to public health. For people in this program, pharmacists play an especially important role by providing treatment to patients with opioid dependence in a way that is accessible.

OTP medicines are now listed on the PBS Section 100 Highly Specialised Drugs (HSD) Program (Community Access), with patient co-payments contributing to the safety net. Pharmacists can make claims through standard pathways (PBS claims and PPA portal). Overview of PBS payments.

NSW Health also funds payments to support pharmacists through the Pharmacy Incentive Scheme. Community pharmacies can register to participate in the Pharmacy Incentive Scheme which is administered by The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW Branch). Incentives include:

  • $1,000 once-off payment for registering to provide OTP (and accepting at least one patient)
  • $50/patient twice a year on OTP (including depot buprenorphine) for up to 40 patients or $2,000
  • Incentive payment for time spent completing quality improvement/CPD activity related to OTP, up to $500 every 6-months.

How to start providing OTP

  1. Register with the Ministry of Health using the Application to Become a Registered Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Dosing Point.
    Please note that methadone and/or buprenorphine cannot be ordered from a supplier until the registration process is complete.
  2. Register for the Pharmacy Incentive Scheme
    The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW Branch) administers the Pharmacy Incentive Scheme, they will contact your pharmacy following notification that your pharmacy has been approved to supply pharmacotherapy under the NSW OTP.
  3. Link in with the Drug and Alcohol Service at your local health district
    Your local health district can help provide support and referrals of clients that are suitable for community pharmacy dosing.

Community pharmacist administration of depot buprenorphine

Staged supply payments include the administration of depot buprenorphine injections.

Free accredited training is available for all NSW pharmacists through the PSA Training Plan: NSW long-acting injectable buprenorphine administration by pharmacists.

Minimum service requirements for administration of depot buprenorphine in community pharmacy:

  • pharmacist holds vaccination accreditation
  • pharmacy has a suitable consultation room to administer injections
  • administration area and equipment must comply with the NSW Pharmacist Vaccination Standards.

The University of Sydney, in partnership with NSW Ministry of Health, the Pharmacy Guild (NSW Branch) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) held a Depot Buprenorphine in Pharmacy Pilot from June 2022 to June 2023.

A webinar on GPs and Pharmacists working collaboratively to assist people in opioid dependence treatment: pharmacist administration of depot buprenorphine.

Resources and support

Useful links

New - A map of community pharmacies that offer OTP and/or depot buprenorphine is now available.


Compliance with the NSW Opioid Treatment Program Community Pharmacy Dosing Point Protocol is mandatory for all pharmacies participating as a dosing point for the NSW OTP.

More information can be found on Frequently asked questions.

The Self Audit for Community Pharmacists can be used to assess your current practice against best practice standards and help you identify gaps in practice and compliance with the regulation. Refer to a case study from a past OTP Audit.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Ceasing provision of OTP

Pharmacists exiting the Opioid Treatment Program have a duty of care to ensure the change of dosing point process is efficient, thorough and person-centred.

Read the Guide for pharmacies exiting the Opioid Treatment Program: Facilitating change of dosing points.

Current as at: Monday 15 April 2024