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NSW Pharmacy Trial for pharmacists prescribing medication

From May 2023, participating pharmacists can provide treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women aged from 18 to 65 years (inclusive) as part of the NSW Pharmacy Trial.

From July 2023, the trial will be expanded to allow eligible women to receive a resupply of their low-risk oral contraceptive pill (the pill) from participating pharmacists. Women must be aged from 18 to 35 years (inclusive) and have been prescribed the pill for contraceptive purposes in the last two years by a doctor (GP) or nurse practitioner.

For more information visit NSW Pharmacy Trial - Information for pharmacists.

New application for authority forms for opioid treatment in NSW

NSW Health is reviewing the process to apply for authority to prescribe certain medicines under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966. The purpose of the review is to streamline the application process, improving health practitioner experience.

The majority of application forms were reviewed and updated at the end of 2022. The final stage of the review of application forms is now complete with four new forms related to the management of patients under the NSW Opioid Treatment Program now available.

These forms will assist with management of patients under the NSW Opioid Treatment Program and support new treatment and transfer protocols including Micro-dosing, Bridging transfer and other Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT).

The new application forms are PDF editable and available at Application forms for authority to prescribe or supply. They replace the old OTP application forms that were on the NSW Health website and in the OTP Clinical Guidelines.

Please note that there are declarations at the beginning (except for the Exit form) and end of the forms. Applicants must ensure they complete and submit all declarations.

These new forms align with the online process for applying for authorities which will be available to health practitioners later this year as part of new features being released within SafeScript NSW.

Prescribers with existing authority to prescribe OTP will not be expected to reapply for existing patients with the new OTP forms. The new forms should be used for new applications submitted on or after 6 April 2023.

From 22 May 2023, the old application forms will no longer be accepted. 

Updated Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs guidelines are available to guide practitioners on using micro-dosing or bridging transfer techniques.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback on the new application forms, please email MOH-PharmaceuticalServices@health.nsw.gov.au

New application for authority forms

NSW Health is committed to improving the efficiency of regulation and monitoring of controlled medicines.

To achieve this, NSW Health introduced new authority application forms in November 2022. These new forms require less information and supporting documentation from prescribers.

The new application forms are pdf editable and can be accessed on Application forms for authority to prescribe or supply. Please note that there are declarations at the beginning and end of the forms. Applicants must ensure they complete and submit both declarations.

The transition period following implementation of the new forms has now closed. Only applications submitted on the forms currently available on the NSW Health website will be considered.

NSW Health is also developing a new online system to manage authority applications which will be available in 2023. The new system will allow prescribers to submit authority applications online, track progress of their applications and in some cases, receive approvals in real time. It will also provide Pharmaceutical Regulatory staff with an improved system for the management and approval of authorities, helping to reduce the turnaround time for applications.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback on the new application forms, please email MOH-S8Auth@health.nsw.gov.au.

Updated pharmaceutical regulatory guidelines for prescribing or supplying psychostimulants in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Updated guidelines outlining the requirements for obtaining authorisation to prescribe or supply psychostimulants for ADHD in children, adolescents and adults have been released. These guidelines have been revised to align with the release of new authority application forms and can be accessed on the NSW Health website or from the links below

Date of birth on prescriptions and in dispensing records

From 1 November 2022 all prescriptions for Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 medicines, including handwritten and computer-generated prescriptions, must include the patient’s date of birth. The dispensing pharmacist must make a record of the date of birth in the dispensing system when dispensing the medicine.

Nicotine vaping products

Consumers require a prescription to be supplied with nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine.

The TGA has not approved any nicotine vaping products for supply in Australia. Pathways for access to these unapproved therapeutic goods are the:

  • Authorised Prescriber Scheme
  • Special Access Scheme
  • Personal Importation Scheme

For more information, refer to Nicotine vaping.

Serious scarcity medicine substitution

In some circumstances it is legal for a retail pharmacist to substitute different strengths or formulations of a prescribed medicine, without contacting the prescriber.

Where there is a Serious Scarcity Substitution Notice on the TGA, substitution is permitted if it is appropriate and the patient consents. The notice will specify which products may be substituted and the specific circumstances it may be substituted.

Under Part 4A of the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, pharmacists must comply with all provisions of the relevant Commonwealth Serious Scarcity and Substitutable Medicine Instrument.

For information on subsidy under the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, visit the PBS.

Free take home naloxone - Australian Government pilot program

NSW is participating in the Australian Government take home naloxone pilot which supplies take home naloxone free of charge to people who may experience, or witness, an opioid overdose.

Nyxoid® nasal spray and Prenoxad® pre-filled syringe are available for free without a prescription at:

Outside of the pilot, naloxone is also available on a doctor's prescription or over the counter from a community pharmacist.

Approval for use of an Electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC)

The Commonwealth PBS transitional arrangements for use of an electronic National Residential Medication Chart (eNRMC) is under the National Health (Electronic National Residential Medication Chart Trial) Special Arrangement 2018.

Under legal instruments issued under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 a prescription may be issued for a person receiving residential care using an eNRMC:

a) At an approved residential care service specified in the Schedule to the Special Arrangement, or
b) Listed on the Transitional eNRMC Conformance Register maintained by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Medication chart orders on the eNRMC satisfy as a form of prescription for pharmacist dispensing and also direct administration by RCF staff.

This applies to all medicines prescribed for RCF residents (that is, PBS and non-PBS).

Current as at: Thursday 1 June 2023
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services