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Advisory Committee on Chemicals Scheduling (ACCS)

14 February 2022

Role of the ACCS

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

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which took effect on 1 July 2010, the Secretary to the Department of Health (Health) (or the Secretary's delegate) superseded the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) as the decision maker for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals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 ACCS comprises professionals with specific scientific, medical or clinical expertise, as well as appropriate consumer health issues relating to chemicals.

Appointed members


Adjunct Professor Paul Brent is an independent science consultant and continues to specialise in medicines, chemicals and food safety for the World Health Organisation Roster of Experts, the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety, the China Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, and the Saudi FDA Risk Assessment Committee. Adj. He was a medical researcher at the University of Newcastle Medical School, Department of Clinical Pharmacology. He has previously worked at the TGA and Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Adj. Professor Brent provides expertise in the fields of toxicology and pharmacology.


Dr Rose Cairns (BPharm PhD) is a senior poisons specialist and Director of Research at the NSW Poisons Information Centre, Children's Hospital in Westmead, as well as a Lecturer in Pharmacy at The University of Sydney. She is a member of the European Association of Poisons Centres and Clinical Toxicologists. She is also a member of the Toxicology and Poisons Network of Australasia. Her academic publications are indicative of expertise and interest in scheduling and policy (including publications relating to methotrexate dosing errors, synthetic cannabinoids, codeine re-scheduling, alprazolam use and poisoning and deaths from pesticide ingestion). She is an editorial board member of TOXINZ, a clinical toxicology database used by clinicians in over 20 countries, and peer reviewer for numerous academic journals. Dr Cairns brings valuable expertise in the field of toxicology.

Dr Vivian Fung is a biochemical toxicologist specialised in regulatory and occupational toxicology. She currently works as a Principal (Specialist) Inspector, Hygiene & Toxicology with SafeWork NSW. Her experience covers classification to implementation of controls for therapeutic products and industrial chemicals and as a regular participant in the NSW Poisons Advisory Committee. She has held various scientific and regulatory roles in both Singapore and Australia, including Health Sciences Authority of Singapore and AICIS (formerly NICNAS). Dr Fung provides expertise in the fields of toxicology and the regulation of scheduled chemicals in Australia.

Ms Annette Ruhotas is an experienced consumer and community involvement representative with expertise in social sustainability and a background in Civil Engineering. Her current health sector roles include membership on the Medical Council of NSW; the Clinical Council of Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network; the Selection into FACEM Training Subcommittee of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine; a Non-Executive Director of the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW Limited; and a Management Committee Member of Maridulu Budyari Gumul the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) - Maternal, Newborn and Women's Clinical Academic Group. Ms Ruhotas provides expertise in the field of consumer health issues.

Professor Lisa Nissen is the head of the School of Clinical Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology. Her research focuses on the factors that influence prescribing of medicines in the community, particularly the quality use of medicines. Professor Nissen provides expertise in the fields of pharmacy and the regulation of medicines in Australia.

Ms Catherine Oh is a regulatory scientist whose experience includes a regulatory chemist role at Nalco Australia, and her current position as the Director, Regulatory & Supply Chain Strategy for Accord Australasia. She has obtained undergraduate qualifications in science and the arts with Honours in Chemistry from the University of Sydney and postgraduate qualifications in legal studies from Griffith University. She is a member of professional bodies Australasian College of Toxicology and Risk Assessment and Royal Australian Chemical lnstitute. Ms Oh provides expertise in the field of the regulation of scheduled chemicals and Australia; industrial and domestic chemicals; and industry issues relating to the regulation of chemicals.

Ms Louise Wichmann is a qualified pharmacist with experience working as a clinical pharmacist at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Western Australia. Prior to becoming a pharmacist, Ms Wichmann worked as a small animal veterinarian in South Africa, England and Australia. She has also worked as a Veterinary Toxicological Pathologist at a research facility in England where she was involved in evaluating the safety of a medication in animal species prior to proceeding to Phase I Human trials in the drug development process. She also has several years of experience working as a veterinarian in the meat industry in New Zealand. Ms Wichmann provides expertise in the field of clinical pharmacy and veterinary medicine.

Nominated members

  • Dr Kerry Nugent
  • Ms Vivien Bevan
    Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Peter Gilfedder
    New South Wales
  • Ms Lisa Hall
    Northern Territory
  • Ms Uma Rajappa
  • Dr David Simon
    South Australia
  • Mr Sam Halliday
  • Mrs Effi Liden
  • Ms Jane Carpenter
    Western Australia

Meeting dates and decisions timeframes

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

Contact details for the ACCS

Committee Support Unit Therapeutic Goods Administration PO Box 100 WODEN ACT 2606 Attn: Scheduling & Committee Support Section, MDP 122
Chemicals scheduling enquiries Committee support enquiries
Phone 1800 020 653
Postal Address Advisory Committee on Chemicals 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