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Scheduling of medicines and poisons

There is a national classification system that controls how substances such as medicines and chemicals are made available to the public. Medicines and chemicals are classified in schedules according to the level of control over their availability needed to protect public health and safety.

The schedules are published in the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons. The schedules are adopted under the Controlled Substances (Poisons) Regulations 2011.

The schedules

Schedule 2

Pharmacy Medicines - substances available from a pharmacy or if a pharmacy is not available, from a licensed person

Schedule 3

Pharmacist Only Medicines - substances available from a pharmacist without a prescription

Schedule 4

Prescription Only Medicines - substances that should only be used or supplied on the order of a prescriber (eg a medical practitioner) and available from a pharmacist on prescription

Schedule 5

Caution - substances that have a low potential to cause harm

Schedule 6

Poison - substances that have a moderate potential to cause harm

Schedule 7

Dangerous poisons - substances that have a high potential for causing harm at low levels of exposure

Schedule 8

Controlled drugs (drugs of dependence) - substances that need to be available for use but manufacture, supply, possession and use need to be restricted to reduce abuse, misuse and dependence.

Schedule 10

Substances of such danger to health as to warrant prohibition of sale, supply and use.

Further information

For more information about the scheduling of medicines contact the Legislation Manager within Medicines and Technology Policy and Programs.

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