Nicotine vaping products

From 1 October 2021, consumers require a prescription to be supplied with nicotine vaping products, such as nicotine e-cigarettes, nicotine pods and liquid nicotine. This includes products supplied in Australia and those imported by the patient directly from overseas.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (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

    More information


Image-based prescriptions

Pharmacists in NSW can dispense a prescription for most medicines using an image of the prescription, rather than requiring a paper prescription.

This temporary measure will better support patients, prescribers and pharmacists during the COVID-19 response, and allow better integration of the prescription and supply of medicines with the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 response telehealth reforms.

Serious scarcity medicine substitution

In certain limited circumstances it is now legal for a retail pharmacist to substitute different strengths or formulations of a prescribed medicine product which is unavailable, without contacting the prescriber (Separate arrangements apply in NSW public hospitals).
Where there is a Serious Scarcity Substitution Notice on the TGA website, the substitution is permitted if the pharmacist judges it is appropriate for the patient and the patient consents. The notice will specify which exact product may be substituted for a prescribed product in which specific and general circumstances.

Under Part 4A of the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, the pharmacist 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 website.

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.

Special temporary authority for emergency supply without a prescription

A special temporary authority to allow the pharmacist to supply prescription medicines (other than Schedule 4 Appendix D and Schedule 8 medicines) during the COVID-19 pandemic is in place until 31 December 2021.

More information

Electronic National Residential Medication Chart Trials

Approval to trial electronic forms of the National Residential Medication Chart (an eNRMC) at specific residential care facilities (RCFs) and community pharmacies has been issued to the following software vendors:

  • Best Health Solutions
  • Medi-Map
  • Webstercare

Use of the eNRMC must comply with the National Health (Electronic National Residential Medication Chart Trial) Special Arrangement 2018. Only the RCFs and community pharmacies in the Schedule of the Special Arrangement may use an eNRMC.

Under exemptions to the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 electronic prescribing on an eNRMC can be used:

  • as a form of prescription for pharmacist dispensing, and
  • as a form of medication chart order to direct administration by RCF staff.

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

Current as at: Tuesday 5 October 2021
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services