WA Palliative Care Patients and Schedule 8 Medicines – New Update

26 Mar 2017

Dr Jane Deacon

by Dr Jane Deacon

Senior woman looks worried

Following concerns raised by WA doctors, the WA Schedule 8 Medicines Prescribing Code (the Code) has been updated and reissued (see our original blog on the WA Schedule 8 prescribing changes). The changes provide greater clarity on end-of-life care and the treatment of terminally ill patients.

For end-of-life care (defined as a life expectancy of less than 2 months) authorisation will not be required.

For terminal illness (defined as a life expectancy of less than 12 months) authorisation will be required for patients who meet the high risk criteria. For patients requiring parenteral or high oral doses of S8 drugs, medical practitioners will require clinical documentation confirming the terminal condition in lieu of specialist support for a specific regimen.

Specialist support will be required for other applications as specified by the Code.

Authorisations may be issued to support dose titration and flexible dosing when required.

Under the new legislation, all current Schedule 8 authorisations remain valid, as issued until the date of expiry.

For further information, please contact the Schedule 8 Prescriber Information Service on (08) 9222 6883; email: or visit the website: WA Health Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch.

This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters. This blog is based on an actual event but details have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.



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