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Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS)

13 September 2021

Role of the ACMS

The ACMS was established to advise and make recommendations to the Secretary of the Department of Health (or delegate) on the level of access required for medicines and in some instances chemicals.

Under revised scheduling arrangements, which took effect on 1 July 2010, the Secretary to the Department of Health (Health) (or the Secretary's delegate) superseded the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) as the decision maker for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals.

Scheduling is a classification system that controls how medicines and chemicals are made accessible to consumers based on the substances contained within them. Substances are grouped into Schedules according to the appropriate level of regulatory control over their availability (e.g. Schedule 4 - medicines available only by prescription; Schedule 2 - medicines available over the counter in pharmacies).

Committee membership

Under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 (the Regulations), the Committee comprises of nine nominated members and no more than eight appointed members.

Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act), the Commonwealth, each State, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory are entitled to nominate a member on this Committee. These Committee members are referred to as 'nominated' members.

Under the Regulations, the Minister must appoint no more than eight additional members, selected through an open invitation process. These Committee members are referred to as 'appointed' members.

Membership of ACMS comprises professionals with specific scientific, medical or clinical expertise, as well as appropriate consumer health issues relating to medicines.

Appointed members


Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen (BPharmSc[Hons] PhD MPS) is the Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre in Melbourne, and is a current NHMRC Career Development Fellow. Her research has focused on understanding and responding to prescription and over-the-counter, drug-related problems; understanding the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids; and monitoring new psychoactive substances including high potency opioids. A/Professor Nielsen has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years with extensive clinical experience in the treatment of substance use disorders including specialist drug treatment and community-based alcohol and drug treatment settings in Australia and the United Kingdom. A/Professor Nielsen is a Senior Editor for Drug and Alcohol Review, has acted as an advisor for the World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. A/Professor Nielsen provides expertise in clinical pharmacology.


Professor Jennifer Martin is a dual-trained clinical pharmacologist and practicing general physician, serving as Chair of Clinical Pharmacology in the School of Medicines and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has studied politics and health economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and has used this experience to serve on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the Economic Subcommittee of PBAC and other government and state-wide committees examining appropriate allocation, regulation, safety and efficacy in pharmaceuticals. Professor Martin provides expertise in the fields of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and the regulation of scheduled medicines in Australia.

Dr Danielle McMullen is a practicing GP, who in addition to clinical work is the current President of the Australian Medical Association (NSW). Dr McMullen is also a member of the TGA's Opioid Regulatory Advisory Group, representing the AMA and providing independent expert advice. Dr McMullen provides expertise in the fields of medical practice and the regulation of medicines in Australia.

Dr Diana Robinson is a Senior Sport and Exercise Physician with significant experience in the care of elite and recreational athletes and teams, who currently works in private clinical practice as well as managing the development of education projects for the Australasian College of Sport and Exercise Physicians (ASCEP). She has expertise in the anti-doping sector, and extensive experience in both advisory and regulatory roles with membership of national and international anti-doping bodies. Dr Robinson has extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of complementary medicines due to their widespread use in the athletic world. Dr Robinson provides expertise in the field of general medical practice.

Ms Lubna Tabassum is a practicing community pharmacist. During her ten years working as a community pharmacist she has gained extensive knowledge of prescription and over the counter medications and has coordinated with GPs, specialists, nurse practitioners and residential aged care facilities. Ms Tabassum brings valuable input from the perspective of a professional working with consumers on a daily basis. Ms Tabassum provides expertise in the field of pharmacy practice.

Mrs Julie Viatos is the Quality Use of Medicines Manager at Consumer Healthcare Products Australia. She has more than 25 years' the pharmaceutical industry across prescription and non-prescription medicines. She is a registered pharmacist with previous experience in community, hospital and drug information pharmacy. Mrs Viatos provides expertise in the fields of the regulation of scheduled medicines in Australia and industry issues relating to the regulation therapeutic goods.

Associate Professor Michael Ward is Discipline Leader: Pharmacy Education in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of South Australia. Dr Ward is a practising pharmacist with research interests in biologic medicines and factors that influence medication response including drug metabolism, drug-drug interactions, pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics. Associate Professor Ward provides expertise in the field of clinical pharmacology.

Mr John Stubbs has promoted the benefits of consumer involvement in healthcare at both the national and state level for the past 16 years. He is a committed advocate for people affected by cancer and chronic disease. He holds degrees in Accounting and Arts and is a regular speaker at medical conferences in Australia and internationally about health policy, advocacy, clinical trials, research and the benefits of consumer involvement. Mr Stubbs provides expertise in the field of consumer health issues.

Nominated members

  • Dr Jane Cook
  • Ms Vivien Bevan
    Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Peter Gilfedder
    New South Wales
  • Ms Helgi Stone
    Northern Territory
  • Dr Julie Stokes
  • Ms Angela FitzHenry
    South Australia
  • Mr Sam Halliday
  • Ms Wendy Yang
  • Ms Jane Carpenter
    Western Australia

Proposed meeting dates and decisions timeframes

Stakeholders should note that the timetable outlines the anticipated administrative timeframes associated with matters seen by the advisory committee. This timetable also reflects public consultation timeframes as required by legislation.

Contact details for the ACMS

Medicines scheduling enquiries Committee support enquiries
Phone 1800 020 653
Postal Address Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
Attn: Scheduling & Committee Support Section, MDP 122
Committee Support Unit
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
Attn: Scheduling & Committee Support Section, MDP 122