Pharmaceutical Services

The role of the Pharmaceutical Services section of the Health Protection Service is to ensure the safe supply of medicines, poisons and therapeutic goods to the ACT community.

The section is responsible for conducting a range of regulatory activities for ensuring that medicines and/or poisons are prescribed, stored and supplied in accordance with local legislation. The section is also responsible for regulating community pharmacy ownership and premises in the ACT.

Pharmaceutical Services is also responsible for distributing information across the ACT community about medicine and therapeutic goods recalls, to ensure that the public is protected from any harm from the use of sub-standard or unsafe products.

Latest developments

Expressions of Interest Medicine Advisory Committee

ACT Health is seeking expressions of interest from suitable persons to fill expected vacancies on the Medicines Advisory Committee (MAC).

The MAC is a statutory body established under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2008. The MAC’s primary responsibility is to provide advice to the Chief Health Officer on complex clinical matters involving the regulation of controlled medicines prescribing in the ACT.

ACT Health is seeking expressions of interest from persons to fill three expected member vacancies on the MAC. Note that member vacancies are expected for:

  • a pharmacist
  • a consumer representative
  • a medical practitioner with experience in pain or addiction medicine.

Applicants are encouraged to submit current curriculum vitae and any supporting statements to the Chief Pharmacist at Locked Bag 5005, Weston Creek ACT 2611 or Applications close COB Friday 6 October 2017.

Enquiries about the expected vacancies should be directed to the Health Protection Service on 6205 1700 or

Expansion of the Pharmacist Vaccination Program

On 22 June 2016 the ACT Pharmacist Vaccination Program was expanded to allow pharmacists to administer the whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine to patients without a prescription. This means that adults aged over 18 years can now be vaccinated against the flu and whooping cough from their local pharmacist.   

Not all community pharmacies offer vaccination services. Consumers are encouraged to ask their local pharmacy about whether they provide vaccination services and vaccination costs.

All pharmacists must undertake additional training before they vaccinate people against the flu or whooping cough. The ACT Pharmacist Vaccination Standards set out the rules and requirements for pharmacists to administer vaccines. 

For more information about pharmacist vaccinations, please visit the Pharmacist Vaccinations webpage. 

Amendments to Controlled Medicines

In 2016, ACT Health developed amendments to the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 to improve the regulatory framework and reduce the burden placed on doctors, pharmacists and patients in the supply of controlled medicines.

As outlined in the Controlled Medicines Prescribing Standards, prescribers are able seek approval to prescribe a therapeutic class of controlled medicine(s) for a patient through a category approval system, as determined by the Chief Health Officer (CHO) or they can apply for approval for each drug, form and strength.

More information

Controlled Medicines

Pharmacy Topics