Drugs and poisons controlled under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2006 (available on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website) are defined under the Act as being in the Poisons Code or in the Commonwealth Standard (Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons, Schedule 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9 Poisons).
Only these defined substances are controlled. They include:
- prescription medicines
- pharmacy-only medicines
- drugs of dependence
- many household, industrial and agricultural chemicals.
In partnership with manufacturers, distributors, health professionals and the public, the Department of Health encourages the proper use of drugs and poisons.
How does the Department of Health protect public health?
Controls are set down in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act and in the Regulations 2006. Under these laws, the Department:
- Issues licences and permits which limit the manufacture, distribution and use of drugs and poisons to those people who are properly trained and equipped.
- Monitors labelling and packaging of drugs and poisons to confirm standards intended to protect the public from harm are met.
- Monitors doctors' prescribing habits and pharmacists' dispensing procedures to identify matters that might endanger patients.
- Monitors procedures that ensure medications are administered in accordance with the prescribers’ instructions at hospitals and residential aged care services.
- Oversees the distribution and use of methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of drug-dependent patients.
Contact the Department of Health, Drugs and Poisons Regulation on 1300 364 545 for information about:
- Labelling and packaging. (TGA labelling and packaging guide)
- Licences to manufacture and/sell or supply by wholesale (see Licences and permits).
- Permits to purchase drugs and poisons for industrial use, research and the provision of health services (see Licences and permits).
- Administration and supply of drugs by health professionals (see Requirements for health professionals).
- Pharmacotherapy (methadone and buprenorphine) treatment.
- Permits to treat patients with drugs of dependence.
- Notification of supply of unusually large quantities of drugs for any individual.