The veterinary profession is unique in that, unlike our medical or pharmaceutical colleagues, we are able to both prescribe and dispense. This is an essential part of the way we function particularly in ambulatory practices and is the result of long traditions and methods of diagnosing and treating medical or surgical conditions of farm animals. This unique privilege carries a great responsibility and is even more so when dealing with schedule 8 drugs, the drugs of addiction.
In an era when all drugs including antibiotics and other schedule 4 drugs are subject to misuse there is a special need to take care in our handling of those likely to be items of substance abuse which, be it anabolic steroids or narcotics, are more commonly sought for misuse or sale.
To this end all veterinarians handling schedule 8 drugs [includes ketamine and anabolic steroids] are required to record their use in a special prescribed way. This is not optional. This is described in the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (Regulations).
Drug Registers to be kept
Entries in drug registers
The list continues to cover laboratories, etc in the same way.
2) Each entry in a drug register must dated and signed by the person by whom it is made.
Feedback from recent hospital inspections is showing the Board that the profession needs reminding of these strict requirements. While a bound exercise book in which the pages are numbered consecutively [printed on the page and not numbered by the vet] and which has columns which include all the necessary details, a "Register of Drugs of Addiction" can be purchased from most pharmaceutical wholesalers or from Salmat, Print on Demand (Tel: 1300 656 986) This book meets all the requirements for recording and in the front lists the requirements for
The veterinary practitioner must immediately notify the Department of Health in writing of the fact and of the circumstances. The notification should be addressed to:
Pharmaceutical Services Branch
NSW Department of Health
PO Box 103
or may be faxed on (02) 9859 5165.
(For advice, telephone the Duty Pharmaceutical Adviser, (02) 9879 3214).
While a drug register must be kept for 2 years for the Department of Health from the date of the last entry, the Veterinary Practice Regulations 2006 (sch 2 15(3)) requires you to retain this record for at least 3 years after it is made. Under the Regulations (reg 119), an accurate inventory of all drugs of addiction must then be created in a new drug register.
Under regulation 124, the practitioner must immediately notify the Director General of the Department of Health. This can be done by telephoning or faxing the Duty Pharmaceutical Adviser, Pharmaceutical Services Branch on Phone: (02) 9879 3214 or Fax: (02) 9859 5165. The relevant details must be entered in the drug register and the police should also be notified where theft has occurred.
A drug of addiction in the possession of a veterinary practitioner for use in connection with their profession and which has become unusable, may legally be destroyed (reg 126):-
You can not dispose of unwanted S8s in any other manner.