Storage and recording of propofol

Applicable to: All health professionals handling medicines in WA Health and authorised under the Poisons Regulations 1965 to obtain or possess Schedule 4 medicines

OD 0529/14 will be superseded by MP 0139/20 Medicines Handling Policy on 01 December 2020. OD 0529/14 will remain in effect until this time. For further information, please contact the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch

Description: This Operational Directive outlines the storage and recording requirements for propofol.

Legal requirements: These are additional controls over and above the minimum required for other Schedule 4 medicines as outlined in the Western Australian Poisons Regulations 1965.

Storage and recording of propofol

Propofol is a Schedule 4 (prescription medicine). All persons authorised to obtain, possess or use propofol must comply with the storage, recording and other requirements of the Poisons Act 1964 and Poisons Regulations 1965.

Evidence suggests that propofol is an item at risk of unauthorised access and abuse. For this reason, additional controls are indicated over and above those for other Schedule 4 medicines.

Propofol is an anaesthetic agent routinely used in medical emergencies and procedures. In these emergency settings, propofol must be readily accessible without hindrance.

While the need for additional measures are acknowledged, routine controls applied to other restricted Schedule 4 medicines are then not appropriate for propofol.

In addition to legislative requirements, all authorised health practitioners in the Western Australian Department of Health (DOH) must comply with the Storage and recording of propofol policy. This policy represents the minimum requirements for the secure and accountable management of propofol.

Where the risk of loss, theft or misuse is higher or a specific need identified, hospitals and health services may choose to implement additional local controls or policy requirements.

Where these requirements are not considered appropriate, on clinical or other grounds, a written assessment is to be performed and alternative controls applied consistent with the level of risk. This must be approved by the relevant area health service and a copy provided to the Pharmaceutical Services Branch of the DOH.

Professor Bryant Stokes

Date of effect: 01 June 2014 to 01 June 2024

Policy Framework

Related documents

Supporting information