A message from the Ministry of Health

Updated pharmaceutical regulatory policy for prescribing or supplying psychostimulants in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

From 13 November 2023 psychiatrists, paediatricians and neurologists are authorised under a class Authority to prescribe or supply psychostimulant medication for the treatment of ADHD in a non-drug dependent person. The class Authority can be used to prescribe up to a maximum daily dose of:

  • dexamfetamine 50mg
  • lisdexamfetamine 70mg
  • methylphenidate 108mg

The Class Authority (reference number “CA2023”) to prescribe psychostimulants replaces the general authority (CNS number or S28c number) issued to psychiatrists, paediatricians and neurologists. Current prescriptions endorsed with reference number “CNS” or “S28C” remain valid for dispensing until 30 June 2024, unless expired. For more information see Prescribe a psychostimulant medication and Dispensing prescriptions for psychostimulants.

Pharmaceutical Services promotes the safe use of medicines and poisons by publishing contemporary guidance materials. The Guide to Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Legislation for Pharmacists (TG79) was updated in November 2023 to reflect changes in policy relating to prescribing psychostimulant medicine or the treatment of ADHD.

A more detailed review of the information in this guide is currently under development and will be published later this year.

Destruction of Schedule 8 medicines at community pharmacies

As of 29 September 2023, the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 will allow a pharmacist who practises at a community pharmacy to destroy a drug of addiction (Schedule 8 medicine) at the pharmacy in the presence of an independent witness. For more information see Destruction of Schedule 8 medicines by community pharmacists.