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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.

Image-based prescriptions

Pharmacists in NSW can dispense a prescription issued by medical practitioners or nurse practitioners, for most medicines using an image of the prescription, rather than requiring a paper prescription. Image-based prescriptions are legally valid up until 30 September 2022. However these are not eligible for PBS subsidy.   

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 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 website, 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 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 30 September 2022. 

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 (BPPCare)
  • Medi-Map
  • (ManRex) Webstercare
  • Compact Business Systems
  • MPS Hold Co

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
  • 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 28 June 2022
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services