​Pharmacies

Schedule 8 (S8) medicine (drug of addiction) requiring refrigeration may be stored in a refrigerator rather than a safe in pharmacies including retail (community) pharmacies, pharmacies in a public hospital, and pharmacies in a private hospital. Storage must be in accordance with the requirements of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008. The pharmacist is responsible for the storage of S8 medicines in a pharmacy, and must comply with the following requirements:

  1. The refrigerator containing the S8 medicine must be in a room or enclosure to which the public does not have access, such as the dispensary.
  2. The refrigerator must be securely attached to the premises and locked when not in immediate use.
  3. The S8 medicine may be stored with other medicines, but not with food or other goods.
  4. The refrigerator containing the S8 medicine may be accessed only by a pharmacist. This means, any other medicine in the refrigerator where an S8 medicine is stored may be accessed only by a pharmacist.
  5. Any key or other device, or any code or combination required to access or unlock the refrigerator, room, cupboard or other receptacle must be kept, and be accessible, only by a pharmacist.

Hospital wards

Schedule 8 (S8) medicines (drugs of addiction) requiring refrigeration may be stored in a refrigerator rather than a safe, cupboard or other receptacle. A hospital ward includes an operating theatre, or emergency or outpatient department of the public or private hospital, but excludes the pharmacy department. Storage must be in accordance with the requirements of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.  The nurse or midwife in charge of a ward is responsible for the storage of S8 medicines in the ward, and must ensure compliance to the following requirements:

  1. The refrigerator containing the S8 medicine must be in a room or enclosure to which the public does not have access, such as a medication room.
  2. The refrigerator must be securely attached to the ward and kept securely locked when not in immediate use; or the room in which the refrigerator is kept must be securely locked when not in immediate use.
  3. The S8 medicine may be stored only with other S8 and Schedule 4 Appendix D (S4D) medicines (e.g. erythropoietin), but not with food or other goods. If goods other than S4D medicines are to be kept in the refrigerator, the S8 medicines must be kept separated from them, such as in a locked box attached to the refrigerator. (Hospital engineering may be able to assist with fixing and fitting the refrigerator to the premises, or the locked box to the refrigerator.)
  4. The S8 medicine may be accessed only by a nurse or midwife in the ward. This means, any S4D medicines in the refrigerator where an S8 medicine is stored may be accessed only by a nurse or midwife in the ward.
  5. Any key or other device, or any code or combination required to access the S8 medicine must be kept, or be accessible, only by a nurse or midwife in the ward.

Medical practices

Schedule 8 (S8) medicines (drugs of addiction) requiring refrigeration may be stored in a refrigerator rather than a safe in a medical practice. Storage must be in accordance with the requirements of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008. The medical practitioner is responsible for the storage of S8 medicines in a medical practice, and must comply with the following requirements:

  1. The refrigerator containing the S8 medicine must be in a room or enclosure to which the public does not have access, such as a medication room.
  2. The refrigerator must be securely attached to the premises and kept securely locked when not in immediate use; or the room in which the refrigerator is kept must be securely locked when not in immediate use.
  3. The S8 medicine may be stored only with other S8 medicines, but not with food or other goods. If goods other than S8 medicines are to be kept in the refrigerator, the S8 medicines must be kept separated from them, such as in a locked box attached to the refrigerator.
  4. The refrigerator containing a S8 medicine may be accessed only by a medical practitioner.
  5. Any key or other device, or any code or combination required to access or unlock the refrigerator, or cupboard or other receptacle must be kept, and be accessible, only by a medical practitioner.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the Duty Pharmaceutical Officer during business hours on (02) 9391 9944 or by email MOH-PharmaceuticalServices@health.nsw.gov.au

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Page Updated: Friday 23 November 2018
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services