Counter-Intuitive Drugs Legislation
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In a recent article published in the Journal of Law and Medicine, we reported research on the impact of Queensland drugs and poisons legislation.1 This legislation is counter-intuitive with respect to the dispensing of interstate prescriptions for Specified Restricted drugs (eg pseudoephedrine and anabolic steroids), Regulated Restricted drugs (eg isotretinoin and clomiphene), Regulated Controlled drugs (eg dexamphetamine and methylphenidate) and Controlled drugs (eg morphine and oxycodone).2 Specified Restricted and Regulated Restricted drugs require a Queensland address for the prescriber whereas Controlled drugs do not. Soon after National Registration in 2010, Queensland removed the requirement for a Queensland address for Schedule 8 Controlled Drugs however no change was made for Schedule 3 or 4 Specified Restricted and Regulated Restricted drugs. Pharmacists practising in border areas are most likely to be presented with interstate prescriptions and therefore this study was conducted in South-East Queensland. We found that the majority of pharmacists (88.9%) were correct in their application of the drugs and poisons regulations regarding an interstate Controlled Drug script but this proportion decreased (51.9%) for Specified Restricted drugs and Regulated Restricted drugs. Compared to Controlled drugs (1.9%) there was a greater level of uncertainty as to whether interstate Specified Restricted (14.8%) and Regulated Restricted drugs (7.4%) could be dispensed. Given the drugs and poisons regulations are currently under review, greater focus on uniform, intuitive legislation has the potential to avoid such confusion.
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Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice