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January 20, 2021

How to Dispose of Schedule 8 (S8) Medicines

The protocol in Australia for the disposal of section 8 medicines will depend on the state or territory jurisdiction. In some states or territories, you are able to dispose of these medicines via the RUM Project, whereas other locations have entirely different requirements. Schedule 8 drugs are classified as  ‘poisons to which the restrictions recommended for drugs of dependence by the 1980 Australian Royal Commission of Inquiry into Drugs should apply’, and can include morphine, hydromorphine, pethidine, methadone, codeine phosphate and oxycodone.

 

New South Wales

A pharmacist who becomes aware of any Schedule 8 medicine returned by a consumer must ensure that it is recorded in the pharmacy drug register and stored in a locked safe whilst awaiting destruction.

Destruction of Schedule 8 medicines which are pharmacy stock or returned from a consumer can be carried out only by or under the direct supervision of an Inspector from the Pharmacy Council of NSW or Pharmaceutical Services, NSW Ministry of Health or any police officer, (clause 125, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation) http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/pharmacists/Pages/faq-schedule-8-medicines.aspx# 29. 

After destruction (i.e. after they are rendered unusable, unrecoverable and unidentifiable), the destroyed medicines may be placed in the RUM bin for disposal. Ampoules which contained Schedule 8 medicine an have been rushed can also be placed into the RUM bin. 

 

Victoria

Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any Schedule 8  medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017

Destruction of schedule 8  medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist. 

All destructions must be recorded in the Schedule 8 register and must include the date of destruction, drug name and strength, quantity destroyed, reason for destruction, authorised person name and signature as well as the witness name and signature. The destroyed medicines, having been rendered unusable, should then be placed in the RUM bin for disposal. 

 

Queensland

Schedule 8 drugs (Controlled Drugs) must not be placed in a RUM bin. Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any controlled drugs medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulations 1996

A Controlled Drugs destruction form must be completed and included in the carefully packaged medicines and then transported to Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services.  A copy of this form must be kept by the pharmacist as a record of this destruction. It would be best practise to make an entry reading the Schedule 8 medicines sent for destruction, in the controlled drugs register and the record must include the date of destruction, drug name and strength, quantity destroyed, the balance of the drug remaining and the initials of the person making the entry.

 

Western Australia

Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any Schedule 8 medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Drugs and Poisons regulations. (link to Pharmaceutical Services Branch, Western Australian Health: http://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Disposal-ofmedicines

Destruction of schedule 8 medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist All destructions must be recorded in the Schedule 8 register and must include the date, drug name and strength, quantity destroyed, reason for destruction, authorised person name and signature as well as the witness name and signature. 

The destroyed medicines, having been rendered unusable, should then be placed in the RUM bin for disposal. Purpose made controlled drug disposal kits suspend the Schedule 8 medicine in a gel preventing retrieval. They are strongly recommended to maintain security and those with a chemical neutralising agent included are preferred. The disposal kit can then be placed in the RUM bins for secure disposal.

 

Tasmania

Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any Schedule 8 medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with the Poisons Regulations 2008. (link to http://www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/psbtas/legislation_links. 

Destruction of schedule 8 medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist. Pharmacists should not use RUM bins for the disposal of Schedule 8 medicines. 

All destructions must be recorded in the Schedule 8 register and must include the date of destruction, drug name and strength, quantity destroyed, reason for destruction, authorised person name and signature as well as the witness name and signature.

 

Northern Territory

Pharmacists must ensure that any Schedule 8 medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Medicines, and Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act (NT 2012) and Regulations. For further information contact Medicines and Poisons Control, NT Department of Health 8922 7341 or poisonscontrol@nt.gov.au. http://www.health.nt.gov.au/Environmental_Health/Medicines_and_Poisons_Control/Pharmacists/index.aspx

Destruction of schedule 8 medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist, another registered health practitioner, a veterinarian or an authorised officer appointed under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act. 

All destructions must be recorded in the Schedule 8 register and must include the date and time of destruction, drug name and strength, quantity, reason for destruction, person’s name and signature as well as the witness’s name and signature. The destroyed Schedule 8 medicines, having been rendered unusable and de-identified, should then be placed in the RUM bin for disposal.

 

South Australia

Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any Schedule 8 medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Drugs and Poisons Regulations. http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/358f23804f9a1ba09fdbdfc4163822ed/De struction+of+Drugs+of+Dependence_Pharmacists_20130510.pdf

Destruction of small quantities of schedule 8 medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist. All destructions must be recorded in the Schedule 8 register and must include the date and time of destruction, drug name and strength, quantity destroyed, reason for destruction, authorised person name and signature as well as the witness name and signature. 

The destroyed medicines, having been rendered unusable, should then be placed in the RUM bin for disposal.

 

Australian Capital Territory 

Pharmacists should take reasonable steps to ensure any Schedule 8 medicines returned for disposal are recorded and destroyed in accordance with Drugs and Poisons Regulations. Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 – refer sections 390, 545 and 546. http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/sl/2008-42/current/pdf/2008-42.pdf.

Destruction of schedule 8 medicines can be performed by the pharmacist under the direct supervision of another pharmacist  When a Schedule 8 medicine is in a formulation that cannot be destroyed (i.e. the formulation is a tamper-resistant formulation) it should be rendered unusable, unrecoverable and/or unidentifiable before being placed into the RUM bin.

Visit your state or territory legislative website for the latest information. 

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