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Information on voluntary assisted dying substances

Voluntary Assisted Dying Pharmacy Service (QVAD-Pharmacy)

QVAD-Pharmacy is the authorised supplier of voluntary assisted dying substances in Queensland. It is responsible for the procurement, storage, supply and disposal of voluntary assisted dying substances. QVAD-Pharmacy is run by qualified pharmacists.

QVAD-Pharmacy services

Pharmacists employed by QVAD-Pharmacy will:

  • receive and authenticate prescriptions for voluntary assisted dying substances from the coordinating practitioner, for both self-administration and practitioner administration decisions
  • prepare and supply voluntary assisted dying substances:
    • for self-administration, the substance will be provided to the person accessing voluntary assisted dying; in rare circumstances, the substance maybe supplied to the person’s contact person or agent
    • for practitioner administration, the substance will be provided to the administering practitioner
  • provide information, education and support about voluntary assisted dying substances and related requirements to:
    • a person who has made a self-administration decision
    • the administering practitioner, if a person has made a practitioner administration decision
  • liaise with authorised disposers regarding the disposal of any unused or remaining voluntary assisted dying substance, if required.

Location

QVAD-Pharmacy is a statewide service run by Metro South Health. It is available to people and healthcare workers anywhere in Queensland who are in the process of accessing or providing voluntary assisted dying.

Voluntary Assisted Dying Regulation 2022

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Regulation 2022 (the Regulation) is available on the Queensland Legislation website.

The Regulation prescribes, in accordance with the Act, the technical requirements for the management of a voluntary assisted dying substance including the prescribing, labelling, supply, storage, and disposal of the substance.

Managing, storing and disposing of voluntary assisted dying substances guidance for health services

This guidance for aims to assist health service organisations with the development of policies and procedures, specific to local contexts.

Authorised suppliers of voluntary assisted dying substances

For the purpose of section 158 of the Act, the registered health practitioners listed below are authorised suppliers of voluntary assisted dying substances:

Authorised disposers of voluntary assisted dying substances

For the purpose of section 159 of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2021, the registered health practitioners listed below have been approved by the Director-General of Queensland Health as authorised disposers of voluntary assisted dying substances.

Pharmacists who hold general registration[1] and are employed at:

  1. a public sector hospital[2]
  2. a pharmacy that provides services only to inpatients of a private health facility licensed under the Private Health Facilities Act 1999
  3. a place at which a pharmacy business under the Pharmacy Business Ownership Act 2001 operates.

This will ensure that any unused voluntary assisted dying substances can be readily handed over to a pharmacist for safe and appropriate disposal in accordance with the Act.

Disposal of voluntary assisted dying substances:


1 A pharmacist who is registered under the Health Practitioner National Law (QLD) to practise in the pharmacy profession and holds general registration on the Register of Pharmacists (see Pharmacy Board of Australia's website)

2 See the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011

Last updated: 21 April 2023