Dispensing prescriptions

Pharmacists may dispense a prescription medicine on the receipt of a valid prescription. The Guidance Note: Dispensing prescriptions (Word 440KB) provides detailed information on the requirements for dispensing.

Valid prescriptions may be handwritten, computer generated or electronic. A medication chart may be used for patients in hospital at discharge or for supply to patient in a residential care facility.

Pharmacists are expected to take reasonable steps to satisfy themselves that a prescription has been issued by an authorised prescriber.

Prescriptions must contain all required information to be valid and in date.There are additional requirements for Schedule 8 prescriptions.

For all prescriptions, but especially for Schedule 8 prescriptions, the pharmacist must be satisfied as to the authenticity of a prescription, identity of the person presenting the prescription, and bona fides of the prescriber. Forged prescriptions must be immediately reported to the Department of Health.

Upon dispensing pharmacists must annotate a prescription to show that it has been dispensed. A record of the supply must be made in the pharmacy electronic dispensing system.

A dispensed medicine label must be labelled in accordance with the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP).

In emergency cases a pharmacist may supply 3 days of treatment with a Schedule 4 medicine. Schedule 4 and Schedule 8 medicines can be supplied in an emergency if personally authorised by a prescriber, and a prescription is sent to cover this instruction within 24 hours.

A pharmacist may supply one PBS quantity of oral contraceptive pill or statin under Continued Dispensing rules.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883
Email: poisons@health.wa.gov.au