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New medicines, poisons and pest management regulatory framework

On 26 September 2019, the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (the Act) and the Therapeutic Goods Act 2019 (Qld) became law in Queensland but will not commence until a later date.

On its commencement, the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 will repeal the Health Act 1937 and Pest Management Act 2001. The Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996, Health Regulation 1996 and Pest Management Regulation 2003 will also be repealed and replaced, with the making of new regulations to support the Act.

It is expected that the new regulatory framework will commence in the second half of 2020.

The new regulatory framework will modernise and streamline the regulation of medicines, poisons, prohibited substances, pesticides and fumigants. It will ensure requirements are easier for industry and the community to understand and apply in practice.

This framework will:

  • provide greater assurance to the community that medicines, poisons, pest management activities and therapeutic goods are regulated by a framework that enhances public safety
  • ensure Queensland Health is better able to monitor and respond to health risks associated with inappropriate access to and use of medicines, poisons, pesticides and fumigants
  • streamline the requirements for prescribing medicinal cannabis in Queensland by enabling non-specialist medical practitioners to prescribe without the need for an approval from Queensland Health
  • provide certainty for medicines manufacturers by applying the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Act 1989
  • improve national uniformity
  • simplify licensing requirements
  • include no new or increased fees
  • enable implementation of a real-time prescription monitoring system for Queensland.

The new regulatory framework applies to persons carrying out regulated activities (for example, prescribing and administering medicines, applying poisons or conducting fumigation or pest control activities) with regulated substances (such as medicines, poisons, pesticides and fumigants) and will affect a broad range of stakeholders across industries, such as:

  • manufacturers and wholesalers of regulated substances
  • licensed retailers of medicines and poisons
  • trained health professionals
  • veterinarians and veterinary medicines
  • pest management technicians and primary producers carrying out pest management activities
  • industrial users of poisons.

The focus of the scheme is on regulating trained professionals and industry; it will have limited impact on the everyday use of medicines and poisons by the general public.

Further information on the new regulatory framework

Further information will be released as we approach the implementation of the new legislative framework. This will include factsheets, forms, templates and links to other relevant areas of Queensland Health.

For further information about the changes to the regulation of medicines, contact the Healthcare Legislation Improvement Unit at hliu@health.qld.gov.au.

For further information about the changes to the regulation of poisons and pest management, contact the Environmental Hazards Unit at environmentalhazards@health.qld.gov.au.

Read about real-time reporting of monitored medicines, or contact the Program of work on monitored medicines at RealTimeReportingQLD@health.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 15 November 2019