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Drug Scheduling

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Drug scheduling is a system for categorising medicines according to where they can be sold and whether a prescription is needed for their purchase. Drug scheduling is also used to categorise poisons and controlled and prohibited drugs.

The Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and Poisons, abbreviated SUSDP, is a document used in the regulation of drugs and poisons in Australia. There are 8 schedules included in the SUSDP.

Schedule 1

This schedule is no longer available.

Schedule 2 (Pharmacy Medicines)

Schedule 2 are substances and preparations for therapeutic use which are substantially safe in use but where advice or counseling is available if necessary. Medical diagnosis or management is not required prior to provision of Pharmacy Medicines.

Schedule 3 (Pharmacist Only Medicine)

Schedule 3 are substances and preparations for therapeutic use which are substantially safe in use but require pharmacist advice, management or monitoring. The use of Schedule 3 only require initial medical diagnosis and do not require close medical management.

Schedule 4 (Prescription Only Medicine)

Schedule 4 are substances and preparations for therapeutic use which requires professional medical, dental or veterinary management or monitoring. The safety or efficacy of the use of Schedule 4 may require further evaluation.

Schedule 5 (Caution)

Schedule 5 are substances and preparations which have low toxicity level and require caution in handling, storage or use.

Schedule 6 (Poison)

Schedule 6 are substances and preparations with moderate to high toxicity. Accidental ingestion, inhalation or in contact with skin or eyes may cause death or severe injury.

Schedule 7 (Dangerous Poison)

Schedule 7 are substances and preparations with high to extremely high toxicity which can cause death or severe injury at low exposures. Schedule 7 require special precautions in their manufacture, handling or use. Special regulations restricting their availability, possession or use are necessary.

Schedule 8 (Controlled Drug – Possession without authority illegal)

Schedule 8 are substances and preparations for therapeutic use which are likely to be abused and are likely to cause dependence.

Schedule 9 (Prohibited Substance)

Schedule 9 are substances and preparations which, by law, may only be used for research purposes. The sale, distribution, use and manufacture of such substances are strictly prohibited.


A product which does not have a poison schedule assigned to it.


Australian Government Therapeutic Goods Administration. Scheduling Basics. 2011. [cited 3 January 2014] Available from: URL Link

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Posted On: 9 August, 2013
Modified On: 17 August, 2017

Created by: myVMC