Public consultation on proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard (paracetamol) - ACMS, November 2022

Closes 14 Oct 2022

Why we are consulting

The Delegate of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care responsible for Medicines Scheduling is seeking consultation from the public regarding potential amendments to the Poisons Standard. The consultation comes in light of the independent expert report on the risks of self-harm from intentional paracetamol misuse. 

Please note that currently there are no active applications from members of the public to amend the Poisons Standard in a specific manner with respect to paracetamol. The comments sought for this consultation are for a variety of options to amend the standard, including time frames for implementation. These options and consultation submissions will be considered by the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling and then the decision-maker before they make an interim decision, which may include one or more, or no, changes to the Poisons Standard. 

The Delegate has proposed a number of standalone options and following the public consultation and advice from the ACMS, may choose one or a combination of options as part of their interim decision.

Note: the proposed options are grouped together for simplicity, however, the sub-options could be considered individually or in combination.

Background:

  • The TGA became aware of concerns, particularly of families and healthcare professionals of affected consumers of paracetamol, regarding the number of poisonings and deliberate overdoses from paracetamol obtained from general retail outlets, and whether current access restrictions are appropriate.
     
  • The matter was previously discussed by the 36th meeting of the ACMS in November 2021, where members advised that further information and guidance regarding the scope of the issue was required before any possible changes to the Poisons Standard could be considered.
     
  • The substance was also discussed at the out of session 39th meeting of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling in August 2022 where the options available for comment were agreed upon.