Schedule 8 medicines must be available to patients with a genuine therapeutic need. However, Schedule 8 medicines are also drugs of dependence and there is a need to minimise the potential for concurrent prescribing and successful drug-seeking activities. For this reason, medical practitioners and nurse practitioners might need to obtain a treatment permit to prescribe Schedule 8 medicines in a safe and lawful manner. Some Schedule 8 medicines may be prescribed without first obtaining a permit but, in some circumstances, a permit must be obtained before the medicine may be prescribed.
A Schedule 8 treatment permit might be required regardless of whether a medicine is prescribed under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) or as a private (non-PBS) prescription.
A limited number of Schedule 4 medicines have special risks associated with their use so that treatment may only be initiated by a medical practitioner with the appropriate qualifications and expertise. Specialist practitioners must hold a warrant, issued by the department, to prescribe these medicines for any patients.
Schedule 8 poisons and interstate prescriptions
Pharmacists in Victoria must ensure a medication is safe and appropriate, and that a prescription is lawful, whether the prescriber is located locally or interstate.
Stimulants for ADHD or narcolepsy – permit requirements
Permit requirements for amphetamine, dexamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methylamphetamine or methylphenidate are complex.
Schedule 8 permits and notifications
In most circumstances in Victoria, medical practitioners require a permit before they can prescribe a Schedule 8 poison.
Warrants for restricted Schedule 4 medicines
Treatment with retinoids, ovulatory stimulants, prostaglandins and thalidomide may only be initiated by a medical practitioner with the appropriate qualifications and expertise.
Drugs of dependence and drug-dependent persons
Legislative requirements for prescribing drugs of dependence and treating drug-dependent persons.
Safer use of opioids
Factsheets for health professionals and patients on the safer use of opioid medicines.
Information relating to specific drugs that are misused
Information relating to specific drugs that are subject to misuse and abuse.
Reviewed 01 December 2022