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:
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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:
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.
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 the
Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit (PRU) webpage.
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
case study from a past OTP Audit.
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.
Guide for Pharmacies exiting the Opioid Treatment Program: Facilitating change of dosing points
OTP training and webinars available to all pharmacists in NSW