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Information on voluntary assisted dying substances

Voluntary Assisted Dying Pharmacy Service (QVAD-Pharmacy)

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

QVAD-Pharmacy services

Pharmacists employed by QVAD-Pharmacy will:

  • receive and authenticate prescriptions for the voluntary assisted dying substance from the coordinating practitioner, for both self-administration and practitioner administration decisions
  • prepare and supply the voluntary assisted dying substance:
    • for self-administration decisions 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 decisions the substance will be provided to the administrating practitioner
  • provide information and education and support about the voluntary assisted dying substance and related requirements to:
    • a person who has made a self-administration decision
    • the administrating 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.

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

The Managing, storing and disposing of voluntary assisted dying substances guidance for health services aims to assist health service organisations with the development of policies and procedures, specific to local contexts.

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 from 1 January 2023 when voluntary assisted dying becomes available in Queensland. Further information for pharmacists will be provided prior to commencement.


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: 29 July 2022