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Retail sale of medicines

The retail sale of medicines is typically restricted to pharmacies. In limited circumstances, a licence to retail Schedule 2 (S2) medicines (as listed in the Commonwealth Poisons Standard) may be granted.

An S2 retail licence authorises the licence holder (including persons stated in the licence to be acting for the licence holder) to carry out the following regulated activities with the medicines stated in the licence:

  1. Buying (and possessing) stock of the substances stated in the licence.
  2. Selling the substances by retail at the premises stated in the licence.

An S2 retail licence cannot be granted for ‘online only’.

Licences are subject to the standard conditions as specified in the regulations. Section 27 of the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation 2021 (MPMR) specifies:

  1. The holder of an S2 retail licence must not sell an S2 medicine under the licence within 25km in a direct route from a pharmacy.
  2. However, subsection (3) applies if, during the term of the S2 retail licence, a new pharmacy opens within 25km in a direct route from an authorised place stated in the licence.
  3. For a period of up to 6 months from the day the pharmacy opens, the holder may sell any S2 medicines bought under the licence before the pharmacy opened.
  4. In this section—
    direct route, in relation to 2 places, means the most direct route between the places, calculated using the distance of the roads on the route between the places.

Transitioning existing licences, applications and documents

On the commencement of the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 (MPA), all general poison licences granted under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 (HDPR) continue to be valid, subject to the conditions of the licence and the HDPR continues to apply until such time as the licence is expired, surrendered or cancelled.

Valid applications made for a new general poisons licence or to renew or amend an existing licence under the HDPR, are still valid but are assessed as S2 retail licences and granted or refused under the MPA.

Other documents, such as purchase orders, continue for up to 6 months.

Licence applications

All new applications for an S2 retail licence must be accompanied by Details of relevant person (PDF 362 kB) forms. These persons include:

  • executive officers of corporations
  • partners
  • individual sole traders.

When a relevant person changes, a new form will need to be submitted. Further information on who must complete this form is on the application form.

New (initial) licence

Apply for a new (initial) licence by reading the guideline and completing the Application form – S2 retail licence - initial application (PDF 356 kB). You will need to pay a fee when submitting this application.

Licence renewals

Existing holders of general poisons licences seeking to renew their licence should complete an Application form – S2 retail licence - renewal application (PDF 310 kB). You will need to pay a fee when submitting this application.

Licence amendments

To make an amendment to an existing licence, complete an Application form – S2 retail licence - amendment application (PDF 431 kB). You will need to pay a fee when submitting this application if you wish to add an additional site to an existing licence.

Related information

Contacts

Healthcare Approvals and Regulation Unit (HARU): HARU@health.qld.gov.au.

Last updated: 3 March 2022