Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS)

20 April 2017

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which took effect on 1 July 2010, the Secretary to the Department of Health (Health) (or the Secretary's delegate) superseded the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) as the decision maker for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals.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

Chair

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.

Members

Dr Suzanne Nielsen is Senior Research Fellow based at the National Drug and Alcohol Centre, University of New South Wales. 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. Dr Nielsen provides expertise in the field of clinical pharmacology.

Professor Andrew Somogyi works in the discipline of Pharmacology at the Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide. He teaches basic and clinical pharmacology and therapeutics to medical, dental, nursing and health science students. He is a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of the Australian Medicines Handbook. He is a registered and practicing pharmacist providing, amongst other duties, patient medication counselling. Professor Somogyi provides expertise in the field of clinical pharmacology.

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

  • Dr Tim Greenaway
    Commonwealth
  • Ms Vivien Bevan
    Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Peter Gilfedder
    New South Wales
  • Ms Helgi Stone
    Northern Territory
  • Dr Susan Ballantyne
    Queensland
  • Ms Elizabeth Hender
    South Australia
  • Mr Sam Halliday
    Tasmania
  • Ms Quyen Giang
    Victoria
  • Ms Jane Carpenter
    Western Australia

2017 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

Email medicines.scheduling@health.gov.au
Phone 1800 020 653
Postal Address Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling
Department of Health
MDP 71
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601
Australia