2016 December - Drugs Storage

Under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (cl 29) restricted substances (S4’s) must be stored ‘in a room or enclosure to which the public does not have access’.

Reception areas, waiting rooms, consult rooms, corridors to these rooms are all examples of areas the public may have access and are therefore unsuitable for the storage of restricted substances.

For drugs of addiction (S8’s) the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (cl 73) requires these substances to be stored ‘apart from all other goods (except cash and documents) in a separate room, safe, cupboard or other receptacle securely attached to a part of the premises and kept securely locked when not in immediate use’.

Although Lethabarb® and Valabarb® are schedule 4 (S4) poisons only, the Board strongly recommends that euthanasia solution is stored in a locked receptacle attached to the premises.  Whilst all S4 medication must only be available under direct veterinary supervision, this additional precaution reinforces the need for care and accountability when using this drug.

The Board has developed a policy on Minimum Requirements for Veterinary Hospitals which includes information about drug storage and this document is used to assess each hospital application.

In addition to legislative requirements it is also important to comply with the recommendations of manufacturers with respect to storage conditions.