S8 drug disposal in aged care
Question: I work in residential aged care and the policy on S8 drug disposal has changed and Registered Nurses are being asked to do this with a community pharmacist rather than the Director of Nursing. Is this right?
Answer: The NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulations (specifically sections 125 and 128) state that the pharmacist who is engaged in supplying the S8 drug (i.e. drugs of addiction) is authorised to destroy any unwanted drugs on the premises but this must occur in the presence of either: (i) the person who is named on the license as being responsible for the storage of such drugs; or (ii) alternatively the Director of Nursing. A Registered Nurse cannot be asked to substitute or replace the Director of Nursing in such disposals.