Businesses that sell medicines and poisons by wholesale or retail require a licence under the Medicines and Poisons Act 2014.
Poisons in Schedule 5 (labelled Caution) and Schedule 6 (labelled Poison) can be sold without a licence. Retail pharmacies do not need a licence because they are already licensed under the Pharmacy Act 2010.
Those wanting to use Schedule 7 poisons (also known as Dangerous Poisons) for their work will usually need a permit to be able to purchase these poisons. There are some exceptions – for example, farmers and pastoralists can purchase most registered agricultural pesticides in Schedule 7 for use on their property without requiring a permit.
Those using medicines and poisons in research and educational settings will also need a permit to be able to purchase these substances.
Healthcare facilities will need a permit if they want to hold an imprest of medicines and will be purchasing medicines for use by all health practitioners at the business. Individual medical practitioners do not need a permit for their doctor’s bag supplies.
Permits allow purchase of the substances listed on the permit from a licensed supplier and storage at the premises listed on the permit. Permits do not allow resale and will be issued for a specified use. Permits may be issued for a single
chemical, such as hydrofluoric acid for cleaning stainless steel welds, or for a range of substances, such as all medicines in Schedules 2, 3, 4 and 8 at a hospital.
Licences and permits can be issued to an individual on behalf of a business, to a partnership or to a company. Assessment of applications will include review of the qualifications and experience of the applicant and checks on the way the
medicines and poisons will be handled, sometimes including an inspection of the premises.
The Department runs an audit program to assess existing licences and permits for compliance with the legislation and any special conditions on the licence or permit.