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The NSW Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) seeks to reduce the social, economic and health harms associated with opioid use. The OTP delivers pharmacotherapy and associated services to opioid dependent patients in NSW through the public sector (including Justice Health) and private sector (private clinics, general practitioners, psychiatrists and community pharmacies). There are currently 3 types of opioid pharmacotherapy available in NSW: methadone, buprenorphine and buprenorphine-naloxone.

In general, OTP prescribers are required to obtain authority from the NSW Ministry of Health prior to their prescribing under the program. Contact a Senior Pharmaceutical Officer at Pharmaceutical Services on (02) 9424 5921 during business hours to confirm the validity of an authority.

How to become a re​gistered OTP pharmacy

To supply methadone or buprenorphine (including buprenorphine-naloxone) under the NSW OTP a pharmacist requires registration with the Ministry of Health using the Application to Become a Registered Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Dosing Point.

Note, the application form includes the protocol for supplying methadone or buprenorphine under the NSW OTP (TG201).

There are a number of requirements that must be met bef​ore an application will be considered:

  • all owners of the pharmacy must be listed on the application form
  • the name of the pharmacy entered on the application form appears on the register of the Pharmacy Council of NSW
  • the pharmacy listed on the application form must be approved to supply pharmaceutical benefits under section 90 of the National Health Act 1953.

Completed forms should be submitted to Pharmaceutical Services by email to MOH-PharmaceuticalServices@health.nsw.gov.au or fax to (02) 9424 5860.

Applications are generally processed within 5 business days. Note that methadone and/or buprenorphine cannot be ordered from a supplier until the registration process is completed.

Changes to a​ registered OTP pharmacy

Re-registration to supply methadone and/or buprenorphine under the NSW OTP is required in the following circumstances:

  • where there is to be a change in address
  • where there is to be a change in ownership (new proprietors or partners)
  • where there is to be a change in the trading name of the pharmacy

For changes to a registered OTP pharmacy, use the Application to Become a Registered Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) Dosing Point.

To minimise disruption to the supply of methadone and/or buprenorphine to the pharmacy, applications for re-registration should be submitted in advance but no earlier than 7 business days before changes (in name, ownership, etc.) take effect. Fax completed form to Pharmaceutical Services on (02) 9424 5860.

Self-audit tool for OTP dosing pharmacies

To improve the quality of NSW Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) dose administration services, a self-audit tool is now available for community pharmacies in NSW.

Community pharmacists provide an essential contribution to the NSW OTP with an important role in reducing opioid-related harms in our communities. From early 2019, the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit (PRU) will undertake regular audits of NSW dose administration points, including community pharmacies providing OTP services to strengthen the safety and quality standards of service delivery across NSW.

To assist pharmacies, a pharmacy self-audit tool has been developed collaboratively by the NSW Ministry of Health, Pharmacy Guild and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Use the tool to:

  • assess your current practice against best practice standards
  • help you identify gaps in practice and compliance with the regulation
  • improve your practice in the administration of doses for the OTP, including record keeping, storage of S8 medicines and documentation practices.

If you have any questions about the program, the self-audit tool or the Pharmacy Incentive Scheme, please contact the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW branch) on (02) 9467 7100 or healthservices@nsw.guild.org.au

Current as at: Friday 3 June 2022
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services