Department of Health

Legislation and Approvals

Medicines and poisons, when used properly, are of great help to the community. They help treat illness, make useful household products and eliminate household pests.

When not used properly, they can harm people. So the government has made laws to control their manufacture, supply and use, so they provide the most benefit for the community, 

Medicines and poisons are controlled using:

  • licences, which authorise people to manufacture, sell or supply medicines and poisons
  • permits, which allow people to purchase or obtain poisons or controlled substances for industrial, educational, advisory or research purposes, or for the provision of health services

Licenses and permits are controlled under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017.

Registered health practitioners (for example, medical practitioners, pharmacists, veterinary practitioners, nurse practitioners, dentists and some midwives, nurses, optometrists and podiatrists) are authorised to possess and use medicines in the lawful practice of their professions.

Reviewed 01 December 2022


Contact details

Postal address: Medicines and Poisons Regulation Department of Health GPO Box 4057 Melbourne VIC 3001

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Department of Health

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