This fact sheet describes the requirements for writing a valid methadone or buprenorphine prescription for supervised administration in community pharmacy settings.
Prescribing methadone and buprenorphine under the
PBS section 100 Opioid Dependence Treatment Program has additional requirements to other
Schedule 8 Drugs of Addiction (S8).
Never give a patient a physical (original or copy) OTP prescription. Instead, forward the prescription directly to the dosing pharmacy to avoid loss or misplacement of prescription, presentation by the patient at another pharmacy, or alteration of the prescription by the patient.Prescriptions ordered by phone, email or fax must be sent immediately to the pharmacy. Pharmacists are obliged to report non-receipt of prescriptions within seven (7) days to PRU.Prescribers must confirm in writing any verbal orders to change the number of takeaway days or the prescribed dose of medicine. Any changes to the takeaway schedule or changes to dosage must be confirmed with a signed and dated order by the prescriber on the prescriber's official letterhead or new prescription sent to the pharmacy.
Pharmacists have a duty to only dispense medicines from a valid prescription and are advised to contact prescribers when there are concerns about prescription validity or where there are concerns about patient safety.Patients depend on collaborative clinical relationships between prescribers and pharmacists to ensure that clinical issues that arise with the patient can be discussed and resolved. Prescribers should proactively contact the pharmacist to facilitate more complete clinical review.
It is important that prescribers are responsive to pharmacist enquiries about treatment of their OTP patients. Examples include general patient health, missed doses, presenting for dosing intoxicated, other substance use, and sedating medicines or S8s prescribed by other doctors treating the patient.
Depot buprenorphine prefilled syringes must never be supplied or given to a patient. Arrangements must be made with the pharmacy to deliver the depot buprenorphine on prescription for each individual patient to the medical practice. Medical and nurse practitioners can also arrange wholesaler direct delivery. Serious harms can result from patients attempting to self-administer depot buprenorphine.Information about prescribing depot buprenorphine.
Applications, transfers or exits for the NSW Opioid Treatment Program:Telephone: (02) 9424 5921 or 9391 9944 (Select option 3) Fax: (02) 9424 5885