The Department of Health and Human Services helps protect the community from the potential harm of medicines and chemicals. It does this by setting boundaries for the safe storage, prescribing, supply and use of medicines and chemicals. These boundaries are set out in the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 and Regulations 2017.

The department educates organisations and health practitioners on the lawful storage, prescribing and supply of medicines and chemicals. It also monitors and acts on non-compliance.

Victorian drugs and poisons legislation is applicable to the substances that are listed in the Australian Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons.

These are known as ‘scheduled’ substances, and legislative controls for these medicines and poisons vary according to their risk. Some of these controls include:

  • defining who is authorised to possess certain scheduled substances
  • regulations for prescribing, supply and use of scheduled medicines
  • requirements for the storage of scheduled substances.