Methadone and buprenorphine are used in the treatment of opioid dependence. A number of resources can be accessed by prescribers and pharmacists who are administering these substances. This is to ensure that they are following standards that are consistent with best and safe clinical practice in treating opioid-dependent patients.
Training resources are produced by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, including online courses, course materials and face-to-face training. Other resources include clinical guidelines and publications from the department.
Medical practitioners, nurse practitioners and community pharmacies can apply for approval to become a pharmacotherapy prescriber or pharmacotherapy dispenser.
Medical or nurse practitioners may prescribe buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) or long-acting injectable buprenorphine for up to ten patients without the need to attend the Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD) training. Health professionals may refer to the Policy for maintenance pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence for advice on the key regulatory and policy requirements for prescribing buprenorphine and methadone.
Pharmacotherapy policy in Victoria
Revisions to the Pharmacotherapy policy will take effect on 1 September 2016. In Victoria, prescribers and pharmacists must be familiar with the department’s policy on pharmacotherapy.
Resources supporting the 2016 revised Policy for maintenance pharmacotherapy for opioid dependence
These supporting documents should be used routinely by prescribers and dispensers for all clients on methadone and buprenorphine.
Training is available for medical practitioners and pharmacists to help manage patients on pharmacotherapy.
Pharmacotherapy – forms, applications and Pharmacotherapy Networks
There are several types of forms you may need to submit if you are an approved pharmacotherapy prescriber or pharmacy in Victoria.
A number of steps must be followed when prescribing buprenorphine for pharmacotherapy.
A medical or nurse practitioner involved in a methadone or buprenorphine program must inform the department if a patient is terminated from a program.
Pharmacotherapy transfers into Victoria
Victoria allows pharmacists to dispense prescriptions for pharmacotherapy written by interstate prescribers.
Reviewed 21 October 2021