2018 June - Purchasing restricted drugs is a privilege
Veterinarians are granted the authority to purchase restricted substances by NSW Health
Under poisons and therapeutic goods legislation and with this privilege comes significant responsibilities. When purchasing restricted substances for use in veterinary practice or simply for use in your own animals you must comply with all storage, record keeping and supply provisions of poisons and therapeutic goods legislation and veterinary practice legislation.
An inspector under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 (s 43) has the power to request a summary of all purchases of restricted substances (S4 and S8 drugs) from drug wholesalers for the purpose of ensuring compliance with poisons and therapeutic goods legislation.
NSW Health and the Board monitor the purchases of restricted substances by veterinarians to ensure compliance with poisons and therapeutic goods and veterinary practice legislation
Random audits of drug purchases have previously included:
1. S8 and specific S4D medications such as anabolic steroids
2. General anaesthetic agents
3. All restricted substances by veterinarians granted non-practising conditions
Honorary registration “non-practising conditions"
Until 2012, the Board granted some veterinarians with honorary registration “non-practising conditions” enabling them to purchase restricted substances for use in their own animals despite being exempt from completing CPD requirements.
A recent audit of some veterinarians granted honorary registration with non-practising conditions has found some of these veterinarians to be in breach of these conditions in that they have purchased restricted substances for use in animals that were not their own. Breaching a condition on registration is defined as unsatisfactory professional conduct and may be considered sufficiently serious to warrant a finding of professional misconduct.
Purchasing of Restricted Substances
Veterinarians have authority under poisons and therapeutic goods legislation to purchase restricted substances for use in animals only. Any veterinarian purchasing drugs for another purpose such as personal use is in breach of both poisons and therapeutic goods legislation and veterinary practice legislation. Again, this could lead to a finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct or professional misconduct.
The authority to purchase S4 and S8 medication is a privilege granted to veterinarians and it can be taken away.