Safety and first aid

Regulation of poisons

Who needs a medicines and poisons licence?

A licence is required by businesses wanting to:

  • wholesale or retail medicines and poisons in Schedules 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8

A licence to retail Schedule 2 medicines will only be issued where a pharmacy service is not available. The nearest pharmacy will generally need to be at least 25km away.

Who needs a medicines and poisons permit?

A permit is generally required to obtain any scheduled medicine or poison for:

  • industrial purposes
  • educational purposes
  • research purposes
  • the provision of health services.

Permits do not allow the resale of the medicines or poisons.

Permits may be issued for:

  • a single poison, for example hydrofluoric acid to clean bricks
  • entire schedules, for example, a hospital pharmacy to purchase any medicine in Schedules 2, 3, 4 or 8 in order to treat patients at the hospital.

If you have a prescription for a Schedule 4 or Schedule 8 medicine, you do not need a permit.

Poisons in Schedules 5 and 6 (labelled ‘caution’ or ‘poison’) can also be sold to consumers without a permit. Many home garden pesticides and household chemicals are in these schedules.

Special supply arrangements exist for ships (including animal transport) and offshore racing yachts so they are appropriately equipped with medicines.

How can a licence or permit be obtained?

Application forms are available from the Medicines and Poisons Regulations Branch (external site).

Before issuing a licence or permit, the Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch will make sure you have:

  • appropriate qualifications or experience to safely handle the medicines or poisons
  • an area suitable for storing poisons or medicines.

You may also be asked to provide evidence of your procedures, security and record-keeping.

Completed application forms must be mailed with payment instructions to:

Corporate Services Directorate, Department of Health
GPO Box 8172
Perth Business Centre
WA 6849


Medicines and Poisons Regulation Branch

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page