The NSW Ministry of Health issues authorities to medical practitioners to prescribe drugs of addiction (Schedule 8 drugs), including opioid medicines for chronic pain.

An authority from the Ministry of Health is required to prescribe or supply a drug of addiction for:

  1. a drug dependent person
  2. a non-drug dependent person who is prescribed or supplied with the following drugs of addiction continuously for more than 2 months:
    • any injectable form of any drug of addiction
    • any drug of addiction for intranasal use, or for spray or application to mucous membranes
    • alprazolam
    • buprenorphine (except transdermal preparations)
    • flunitrazepam
    • hydromorphone
    • methadone

It is important to note that an authority from the NSW Ministry of Health is distinct from, and independent of, an authority from Medicare Australia which is for the purposes of a subsidy under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

An authority is not required to prescribe a drug of addiction to a person (drug dependent or non drug dependent) who is admitted to a hospital as an inpatient, unless the inpatient stay exceeds 14 consecutive days.

Fax the completed form to Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit on (02) 9424 5889. Practices without fax facilities can post forms and supporting documentation to Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit, NSW Ministry of Health, Locked Mail Bag 2030, St Leonards NSW 1590.​

Current as at: Wednesday 15 November 2023
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services