Interstate prescriptions

Pharmacists may dispense most valid prescription written by an authorised prescriber, regardless of the Australian State or Territory it was prescribed in.

Any health practitioner that belongs to the authorised class of registered health practitioner or holds the required individual endorsement is an authorised prescriber. As registered health practitioners are recognised to practice nationally, this means that prescribing authority in Western Australia (WA) does extend to practitioners resident in other States and Territories.

There are some cases where certain S8 prescriptions from other States and Territories cannot be dispensed.

Valid Interstate Prescriptions

Prescriptions written by interstate based practitioner that may be dispensed in WA include all Schedule 4 and most Schedule 8 (S8) medicines. To be valid the prescriptions must:

  • contain all the information normally required by WA legislation; and
  • be issued by a class of prescriber authorised under WA law.

Interstate Schedule 8 Prescriptions

Interstate S8 prescriptions must contain all additional information required for these documents in WA, such as patient Date of Birth, exact repeat interval and precise directions for use. 

Pharmacists must still take reasonable steps to verify the genuineness of the S8 prescription as usual. Interstate S8 prescriptions must be retained at the dispensing WA pharmacy, but will be approved for transfer back to a pharmacy in another state.  Requests for transfer should be made in writing using the Application for inter-pharmacy transfer of Schedule 8 prescription form (Word 829KB).

Invalid Interstate Prescriptions

There are some S8 medicines that require the specific approval of the CEO of health to prescribe. These include:

  • opioid pharmacotherapy for treatment of dependence
  • stimulants
  • Cannabis-Based Products (CBP)
  • flunitrazepam, alprazolam, methadone and any medicines not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) including ketamine lozenges and other compounded S8 products.

The Department of Health does not routinely authorise prescribing by interstate practitioners in these cases. For this reason prescriptions for these items are unlikely to be authorised and should not be dispensed by WA pharmacists.

Regulations and restrictions over prescribing of S8 medicines does vary between States and Territories. An equivalent approval to prescribe one of these medicines in the State of origin is not valid in WA, even if the prescription complies with relevant restrictions in that jurisdiction.

In these cases the pharmacist should refer the patient to a WA based prescriber.

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