Changed medicine regulatory requirements for health practitioners during COVID-19 pandemic

To facilitate the supply of medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce regulatory burden on prescribers and pharmacists the following public health emergency orders (PHEO) have come into effect. For further information about the public health emergency orders, prescribers and pharmacists should read the advice documents and gazette notices.

PHEO #1 - Expired (Continued dispensing during the bushfires PHEO)

PHEO #2 - Public health emergency order (Gazette No. S 158 Thursday 26 March 2020) for emergency supply without a prescription to people affected by COVID-19 until midnight 27 September 2020, unless earlier revoked .

PHEO #3 - Public health emergency order (Gazette No. S 158 Thursday 26 March 2020) to prescribe Schedule 8 medicines without a Schedule 8 permit for non drug-dependent patients is in place until midnight 27 September 2020, unless earlier revoked. Prescribers should check advice for further details about Special Schedule 8 permits.

PHEO #4 - Public health emergency order (Gazette No. S 188 Tuesday 7 April 2020) for supply on a digital image of an original paper prescription transmitted by the prescriber until midnight 6 October 2020, unless earlier revoked.


Advice for prescribers - COVID-19

Advice to pharmacists - COVID-19

Limits on dispensing and sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines – TGA

Treating a drug-dependent person -  key requirements in Victoria

Medicines and poisons phoneline inactive

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is working around the clock with health services, the Commonwealth and international agencies to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to keep the Victorian community safe.

The Medicines and Poisons Branch (MPR) is contributing to the DHHS response. To enable this the MPR phoneline will not be operating for the immediate term.

If you have issues registering with SafeScript or logging in SafeScript, please contact SafeScript technical support on 1800 723 379.

If your query relates to drugs and poisons legislative controls in Victoria, please refer to the Licences and permits to possess (& possibly supply) scheduled substances page. Online forms are available at this location.

If your query relates to an urgent matter for a licence or permit application for an entity to purchase medicines or if you are reporting concerns about possible contraventions of drugs and poisons legislation please email We will respond to your query earliest convenience.

Schedule 8 permits and correspondence

From Monday 23 March 2020, Schedule 8 permits and correspondence will not be faxed to medical clinics. Medical practitioners and nurse practitioners are able to access their Schedule 8 permits and correspondence relating to a Schedule 8 permit application via SafeScript.

GP Clinical Advisory Service

The GP Clinical Advisory Service is a peer to peer service helping Victorian GPs support patients with high-risk prescription medication concerns and complex needs.