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Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS)

15 October 2019

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which took effect on 1 July 2010, the Secretary to the Department of Health (Health) (or the Secretary's delegate) superseded the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) as the decision maker for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals.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


Adjunct Professor Paul Brent is Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Laval, Canada where he contributes to the development of coursework for students and other research projects in the areas of food and chemical safety. He was a medical researcher at the University of Newcastle Medical School, Department of Clinical Pharmacology for 19 years, then worked at the TGA for 3 years. Following this he spent 14 years at Food Standards Australia New Zealand where he became Chief Scientist. Professor Brent is now an independent science consultant, and chaired the Advisory Committee on Chemical Scheduling for the Australian Department of Health from 2015 to 2016. Professor Brent continues to specialise in medicines, chemicals and food safety for the World Bank Global Food Safety Partnership, the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety, The China Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, and regularly contributes to scientific papers and books in his field. Professor Brent provides expertise in the field of toxicology or pharmacology.


Dr Shirley Fung is experienced in all areas of general practice with extended skills in dermatology, women's health and shared obstetric care. Dr Fung will makes a valuable contribution to the ACMS as general medical practitioner.

Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen is the Deputy Director and a current NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the Monash Addiction Research Centre, Monash University. Her research is focused on understanding and responding to prescription and over-the-counter, drug-related problems. Dr Nielsen has over 15 years clinical experience as a pharmacist, specialising in treatment of substance use disorders. She has worked in specialist treatment and community based alcohol and drug settings. A/Professor Nielsen provides expertise in the field of clinical pharmacology.

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. She has represented ACSEP on other education based government advisory panels. Diana 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 in the ACT, and has previously worked in this capacity in NSW. 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.

Mrs Julie Viatos has been the Quality Use of Medicines Manager at the Australian Self Medication lndustry, since October 2012. Julie is a pharmacist who has previous experience in community pharmacy, as well as hospital and drug information pharmacy. She has more than 20 Years' experience working in senior regulatory affairs roles in the pharmaceutical industry across prescription and non-prescription medicines. 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.

Professor Amanda Wheeler is Professor of Mental Health at Griffith University. She is a registered pharmacist who has worked as a health practitioner, educator and researcher in mental health and pharmacy practice for almost 20 years. She is nationally and international recognised for her expertise in these areas. Her research focuses on quality improvement, professional practice, workforce development and capacity building. These themes come together with the common goal of improving outcomes for consumers and carers and are integrated across the full scope of her work. Professor Wheeler provides expertise in the fields of clinical pharmacology and pharmacy practice.

Nominated members

  • Professor Paul Kelly
  • Ms Vivien Bevan
    Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Peter Gilfedder
    New South Wales
  • TBD
    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 +61 2 6232 8665 or
+61 468 609 842
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