Reporting oversupply

The Medicines and Poisons Act 2014 (external site) requires that an authorised health professional must make a report to the Department of Health, within 48 hours, when they have reason to believe that a person has over a period of time obtained, or obtained prescriptions for, quantities of drugs of addiction that are greater than is reasonably necessary for therapeutic use. These persons are commonly referred to as 'doctor shoppers'.

On receiving a report the Chief Executive Officer may decide to include the name of the person on the drugs of addiction record as an Oversupplied person. Information regarding the drugs of addiction record will only be made available to authorised health professionals, as necessary for the treatment of a patient under their care.

Reports of oversupply must be made on the Reporting an oversupplied person form (Word 842KB).

Prior written authorisation from the CEO is required before prescribing Schedule 8 medicines for a patient who has is recorded as an Oversupplied Person.The treatment must be medically indicated and not for the treatment of addiction.

More information on the criteria for oversupply may be found in the Guidance note: Reporting drug dependent and oversupplied persons (Word 385KB). A patient information sheet (Word 3841KB) has been developed to explain the reporting process and consequences of a report of oversupply and inclusion on the drugs of addiction record.

A record of oversupply may be removed from the drugs of addiction record, if the record is not accurate or up to date. If the person has no direct or indirect contact with the Department, in relation to their seeking or use of drugs of addiction, for a period of 5 years, their name will be automatically removed from the record.

If the person has been drug-free and not sought drugs for 2 years, the person’s medical practitioner can apply to the Department of Health for removal, on behalf of the person. Supporting evidence will be required and medical practitioners should contact the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch for guidance. Alternatively, a person can apply for removal themselves. Information for people who wish to make their own application is available on the HealthyWA website.

More information

Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch
Mailing address: PO Box 8172, Perth Business Centre, WA 6849
Phone: 9222 6883