Department of Health

Pharmacotherapy – forms, applications and pharmacotherapy networks

Victorian area-based pharmacotherapy networks

Pharmacotherapy is an important part of the Victorian Government's community response to the treatment of drugs and alcohol in the state.

Medical professionals, pharmacists and the Victorian Department of Health work together to make pharmacotherapy available to clients in the community.

This work is undertaken by five Victorian pharmacotherapy area-based networks which include:

  • three regional networks
    • Barwon South-West
    • Grampians and Loddon Mallee
    • Gippsland and Hume
  • two metropolitan networks
    • South and Eastern Metropolitan
    • North and West Metropolitan.

Purpose of the networks

These networks were established throughout Victoria with the aim of:

  • ensuring a more local approach in connecting care
  • driving best practice
  • improving pharmacotherapy client outcomes.

They work together to:

  • develop strategic approaches to addressing needs in their areas
  • work with other services in the area to form partnerships to facilitate: 
    • treatment referral pathways
    • intervention
    • ongoing support wrap-around support
  • mentor providers
  • attract and retain pharmacotherapy providers to relieve pressure to existing services
  • provide access to ongoing training for pharmacotherapy providers.

For more information about these networks and for contacts please download the factsheet.

Forms and applications

There are several types of forms to submit if you are an approved pharmacotherapy prescriber or pharmacy. 

Permission to treat an opioid-dependent person

Approved medical practitioners or nurse practitioners need to apply for a permit to treat an opioid-dependent person with methadone or buprenorphine by downloading the following form:

Approval for pharmacotherapy prescribing or supply

Medical practitioners, nurse practitioners and community pharmacies may use the following forms to become a pharmacotherapy prescriber or supplier:

Pharmacotherapy pharmacists – self-assessment

The following form helps pharmacists to assess their compliance with key regulatory and policy requirements associated with the safe, appropriate and lawful provision of opioid replacement therapy (ORT).

Note that the form does not address all aspects of the requirements. Pharmacists should refer to the following documents for full details:

Pharmacotherapy dispensing support program – tax invoice

If a client is eligible for pharmacotherapy dispensing support, the Department issues a letter to the dosing pharmacy confirming details of dispensing support.

If a client who is eligible for dispensing support has transferred to your pharmacy, but you have not received the letter from the Department, they will need to send an email with the change of pharmacy details and their start date via pharmacotherapy@health.vic.gov.au

Victorian community-based pharmacotherapy system

For more information on this Victorian community-based pharmacotherapy system, download the paper: Enhancing the Victorian community-based pharmacotherapy system: directions paper 2013.

Prescribing and dispensing Suboxone®

Suboxone is a sublingual film that contains the active ingredients buprenorphine and naloxone. It is registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia for the treatment of opioid dependence through the Section 100 Opiate Dependence Treatment Program.

It is fully subsidised by the Commonwealth government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for opioid replacement therapy. 

There has been some confusion about the legality and practicalities of prescribing and dispensing Suboxone for purposes other than opioid replacement therapy (off-label use).

For further information download the Suboxone® factsheet.

Reviewed 01 September 2022

Health.vic

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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