Schedule 8 - Prescribing Knowledge Gap

Schedule 8 - Prescribing Knowledge Gap

Did you know that when you prescribe drugs of addiction (Schedule 8 drugs) to someone you may need an authority by the NSW Ministry of Health?
Many doctors don’t.

An authority from the Ministry of Health is required to prescribe or supply a drug of addiction to:

  • a drug-dependent person; or to
  • a non-drug dependent person who is prescribed or supplied with the following drugs of addiction continuously for more than two months:
    • any injectable form of any drug of addiction
    • any drug of addiction for intranasal use, or for spray or application to mucous membranes
    • alprazolam
    • buprenorphine (except transdermal preparations)
    • flunitrazepam
    • hydromorphone
    • methadone

It is important to remember that an authority from the NSW Ministry of Health is not the same as an authority from Medicare Australia, which is for the purposes of a subsidy under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The NSW Ministry of Health form ‘Application for Authority to Prescribe a Drug of Addiction’ is available here:

To find out more details about s.8 drugs, visit the NSW Ministry of Health website: