Clarification of key terms

Administer or use means to personally introduce a medicine to a person's body (or personally observe its introduction).

Supply means to provide a medicine for a person to administer or use at a later time.  

Registered podiatrists

A registered podiatrist is authorised to possess and use those Schedule 4 medicines approved by the Secretary that are required in the practice of their profession for podiatric treatment of a patient, but is not authorised to supply scheduled medicines.

At this time, the Schedule 4 medicines approved by the Secretary in relation to registered podiatrists are:

  • local anaesthetics – lignocaine hydrochloride in preparations containing 2 per cent or less of lignocaine hydrochloride only
  • prilocaine hydrochloride in preparations containing 2 per cent or less of prilocaine hydrochloride.

Authorised podiatrists

An authorised podiatrist is a registered podiatrist whose registration is endorsed under s. 94 of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.

An authorised podiatrist is authorised to obtain, possess, use or supply any Schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicine for podiatric use that is approved by the Minister and specified in their endorsement in the lawful practice of their profession (s. 13 of the Act).

For authorised podiatrists, the Minister has approved a list of specific Schedule 2, 3 and 4 medicines that may be used for the treatment of conditions of the human foot. No Schedule 8 medicines have been approved in relation to authorised podiatrists in Victoria. 

Key legislative requirements

Whereas authorised podiatrists are authorised under the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 (the Act), the authorisation for registered podiatrists is included in the Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017 (r. 7).

The Drugs Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017 also contain the majority of regulatory requirements, relating to scheduled poisons, with which registered health practitioners must comply.

The Poisons Standard lists all scheduled poisons and contains standards with which authorised podiatrists must comply, including the labelling requirements for dispensed medicines.

Safe, lawful and appropriate treatment

In addition to the requirement to ensure treatment is lawful, registered health practitioners are required to meet professional standards that are contained in other legislation and that are determined by their professional registration boards.

This website contains a range of documents, in the section for Documents to print or download, which summarise the legislative requirements and issues that relate to each type of registered health practitioner plus documents that relate to multiple categories of health practitioner. The following document provides an overview of the legislative requirements that relate to podiatrists.

  • Podiatrists - key legislative requirements in Victoria
The following documents, in the section headed ‘Matters that relate to many health practitioners’ contain requirements that are common to multiple categories of health practitioner:
  • Possession and storage: includes regulatory requirements and matters to be notified to authorities
  • Supply, administration and records: includes software and recording requirements, destruction of Schedule 8 poisons and labelling requirements for dispensed medicines
  • Prescribing: includes regulatory requirements for issuing prescriptions, writing chart instructions, authorising administration and providing verbal instructions in an emergency
  • Handwritten and computer-generated prescriptions: includes details of mandatory components of prescriptions
  • All reasonable steps and other key terms: includes an explanation of the meaning and application of the subjective term 'all reasonable steps', which appears in several regulations and how it might be applied to certain situations.
  • Schedule 2 and 3 poisons: includes details of the legislation that applies to the lawful supply of ‘Pharmacy Medicines’ and ‘Pharmacist Only Medicines’ by health practitioners (other than pharmacists) – if such supplies are lawful at all.
For full details, see the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017. 

Podiatry Board of Australia – determination on supply

Although the Act allows authorised podiatrists to supply Minister-approved Schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicines for podiatric use, the Podiatry Board of Australia has previously determined that podiatrists should not sell or supply Schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicines other than:

  • in an emergency
  • in unusual clinical situations, in remote areas or after hours, or wherever access to a pharmacy is likely to be difficult
  • in sample or starter packs.

The Board further advises that the practice of routinely supplying Schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicines for profit may be regarded as professional conduct that is of a lesser standard than might reasonably be expected of a podiatrist by their peers, and that such conduct may lead to the podiatrist concerned being subject to the Board’s disciplinary proceedings.

Note: Determinations by the Board may be subject to variation by the Board.

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