Medicines and poisons permits

You will need an authorisation for your workplace if you use:

  • dangerous poisons - schedule 7
  • prescription only medicines - schedule 4
  • controlled drugs - schedule 8.

People who may need to use scheduled medicines include:

  • rangers
  • researchers
  • animal control officers
  • laboratories.

People who may need to use dangerous poisons include:

  • power and water workers
  • welders
  • mine workers
  • laboratories.

Read more about agricultural and veterinary laws and rules.

Find out about permission to stock medicines or poisons in your medical kit.

What you need authorisation for

You must be authorised to use schedule 4, 7, and 8 substances.

You don't need authorisation to use schedule 5 or 6 substances.

Authorisations are valid for 1, 2 or 3 years.

Only the authorised person or somebody under their direct supervision can use the medicines or poisons.

You can only use the medicines or poisons for the purpose stated.

For more information about medicine and poison scheduling, go to the Australian Government's Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

How to apply

To apply to possess and use a schedule 4, 7 or 8 substance, follow the below steps.

Step 1. Fill in the form

Fill in the possess and use a schedule 4, 7 or 8 substance form:

You must show all of the following in your form:

  • your organisation has procedures and guidelines for use of the medicines and poisons that:
    • promote safe handling, use and disposal
    • have been endorsed by a veterinarian, if substances are for use on animals
    • address storage and record keeping requirements
  • a relationship between your organisation and a veterinarian to advise you and check your skills, if substances are for use on animals
  • the substances will be stored safely
  • you understand the need for accurate records of purchase and use
  • the arrangements your organisation has to return or dispose of medicines and poisons
  • evidence of personal safety equipment and antidotes, if appropriate.

Step 2. Attach supporting documents

You must:

  • show what you will use the medicines or poisons eg. sedating wild animals or for use in a laboratory
  • provide evidence from your employer that you're doing this work.

The supporting documents you must submit include all of the following:

  • a letter from your organisation supporting the application
  • a letter from the supervising veterinarian supporting the application, if substances are for use on animals
  • written procedures for handling and using each substance
  • a written exit strategy showing what you will do with substances if:
    • the authorised person goes on leave or resigns
    • the business closes
    • there is a flood, cyclone or other emergency
    • research is completed.

To find out more about exit strategies, get the exit strategy information sheet on the Department of Health Library Services ePublications.

Step 3. Pay the fee

The fee for an authorisation is $63 per year.

You can renew your licence for 1, 2 or 3 years.

You can pay by cheque, money order or credit card.

Payments must be made to the Darwin Receiver of Territory Monies.

Step 4. Submit the form

Submit the form, supporting documents and a copy of your payment receipt by mail, email or fax to:

Medicines and Poisons
Department of Health
PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811

Fax: 08 8922 7200


The authorisation document is your authority to keep and use the named poisons or medicines - keep it in a safe place.

You must:

  • show it to your supplier each time you make a purchase and sign their purchase register
  • keep all delivery dockets or invoices related to the medicines or poisons
  • keep a register which shows the date, supplier, amount and type of substance received - you must record when and how much you have used.

Records must be kept for 2 years from the date of the last entry.


Medicines or poisons must not be kept or used at any address other than that stated in the authorisation document.

Read about storing medicines and poisons.


Medicines and Poisons
5th Floor Manunda Place
38 Cavenagh Street
Darwin NT 0800

Phone: 08 8922 7341
Fax: 08 8922 7200

Last updated: 01 July 2022

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