Legislative requirements

The NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 requires persons who are authorised to be in possession of a drug of addiction (Schedule 8 substance) or a 'prescribed restricted substance' (Schedule 4 Appendix D substance) to immediately notify the Director General of Health of any loss or theft of these drugs.
Persons authorised to be in possession of S8 or S4D substances may include medical practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, nurse practitioners, ambulance officers, veterinary practitioners, pharmaceutical wholesalers and pharmaceutical manufacturing licence holders, and persons in charge of a laboratory used for the purpose of analysis or research.

Notification requirements

Pharmaceutical Services of the NSW Ministry of Health must be immediately notified without delay when the loss or theft of an S8 or S4D substance has occurred. Any loss must be notified, regardless of the amount.
Following initial notification to Pharmaceutical Services, if and when further details become available about the incident, a notification form should be re-submitted to include the additional details.
Assistance or advice can be obtained during business hours by contacting the Duty Pharmaceutical Officer at Pharmaceutical Services on telephone (02) 9391 9944.

Notification forms

Notification to Pharmaceutical Services of any loss or theft of an accountable drug (including any follow up notification) is to be made using Notification of Loss or Theft of Accountable Drugs.

Where more than 3 different preparations have been lost or stolen, complete the Supplementary Page: Notification of Loss or Theft of Accountable Drugs (S8 or S4D substances) (referred to at Q12 on the notification form).

To complete and submit the forms you will need Adobe Reader. Download the latest version for free from Adobe.


Notification instructions

Handwritten or scanned forms will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances and only by prior arrangement.

The form is designed to be completed electronically and must be submitted electronically by:

  • using the 'Submit Form' button at the top of the form (visible when using Adobe Reader v9.5 onwards)
  • emailing the form to MOH-PharmaceuticalServices
    (use the 'Save as' option under File menu to save a copy of the completed form to a local drive and attach the copy to the email)

A copy of the submitted form should be kept for record keeping purposes.


NSW public health system

For each incident of the loss or theft of accountable drugs (S8, S4D, other substances) from the NSW public health system (including NSW Ambulance Service), a notification (or follow up notification) is to be made using the Notification of Loss or Theft of Accountable Drugs.

The form is to be completed by the Director of Pharmacy, or Director of Nursing where no pharmacist is employed.

Staff should be aware of any local LHD protocols that should be followed. Protocols may include the completion of an Incident Information Management System (IIMS) report. A Reportable Incident Brief (RIB) may be required in some circumstances.

Further details are provided at Reporting requirements for the loss or theft of Schedule 8 and Schedule 4D substances from NSW public health facilities.


Outside the NSW public health system

Each incident of loss or theft of an accountable drug must be notified to Pharmaceutical Services, and incidents may be notified by a hospital, a day procedure centre, a medical centre, a general practice, a dental surgery, a community pharmacy, a veterinary practice, or companies that have been issued with a licence to supply poisons and/or restricted substances, or a licence to manufacture or supply drugs of addiction by wholesale.

Notification (including any follow up notification) is to be made using Notification of Loss or Theft of Accountable Drugs.


Additional Information

Drugs of Addiction (S8 substances) are substances listed under Schedule 8 (S8) of the NSW Poisons List and are substances which may be abused, are addiction producing or potentially addiction producing, and potentially dangerous. Examples are morphine, oxycodone, methadone, buprenorphine, fentanyl, pethidine, hydromorphone and flunitrazepam.
'Restricted substances' (S4D substances) are substances listed in Appendix D to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation. These substances may be abused and/or are liable to cause dependence.  Examples are anabolic/androgenic steroids, benzodiazepines, phenobarbitone, phentermine and Schedule 4 pseudoephedrine preparations.
Current as at: Monday 31 May 2021
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services