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Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling (ACMS)

10 May 2022

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which took effect on 1 July 2010, the Secretary to the Department of Health (Health) (or the Secretary's delegate) superseded the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) as the decision maker for the scheduling of medicines and chemicals.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

Chair

Associate Professor Suzanne Nielsen (BPharmSc[Hons] PhD MPS) is the Deputy Director of the Monash Addiction Research Centre in Melbourne, and is a current NHMRC Career Development Fellow. Her research has focused on understanding and responding to prescription and over-the-counter, drug-related problems; understanding the therapeutic effects of cannabinoids; and monitoring new psychoactive substances including high potency opioids. A/Professor Nielsen has been a registered pharmacist for over 20 years with extensive clinical experience in the treatment of substance use disorders including specialist drug treatment and community-based alcohol and drug treatment settings in Australia and the United Kingdom. A/Professor Nielsen is a Senior Editor for Drug and Alcohol Review, has acted as an advisor for the World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. A/Professor Nielsen provides expertise in clinical pharmacology.

Members

Ms Elise Apolloni is a community pharmacist. She is also a credentialled diabetes educator, Mental Health First Aid instructor and board director. Ms Apolloni holds positions with various pharmacy organisations as well as local and national government committees and boards. She has extensive experience in the supply of scheduled medicines, working with consumers and multi-disciplinary teams on a daily basis to optimise medicine use. Ms Apolloni provides expertise in the field of pharmacy practice and industry relating to the regulation of therapeutic goods.

Professor Jennifer Martin is a dual-trained clinical pharmacologist and practicing general physician, serving as Chair of Clinical Pharmacology in the School of Medicines and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She has studied politics and health economics at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and has used this experience to serve on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the Economic Subcommittee of PBAC and other government and state-wide committees examining appropriate allocation, regulation, safety and efficacy in pharmaceuticals. Professor Martin provides expertise in the fields of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and the regulation of scheduled medicines in Australia.

Dr Danielle McMullen is a practicing GP, who in addition to clinical work is the current President of the Australian Medical Association (NSW). Dr McMullen provides expertise in the fields of medical practice and the regulation of medicines in Australia.

Associate Professor Bridin Murnion is a practising physician with fellowships in Clinical Pharmacology, Pain Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Associate Professor Murnion has over 15 years' experience in the Australian public health system providing addiction, pain and clinical pharmacology/toxicology care. She has held expert roles on multiple state bodies advising on high risk medicines and controlled substances. Associate Professor Murnion provides expertise in the field of scheduled medicines in Australia, pharmacology and clinical practice.

Mr John Stubbs has promoted the benefits of consumer engagement in healthcare at both the national and state level for the past 20 years. He is a committed advocate for people affected by cancer and chronic disease. He holds degrees in Accounting and Arts and is a regular speaker at medical conferences in Australia and internationally about health policy, advocacy, clinical trials, and research. Mr Stubbs provides expertise in the field of consumer health issues.

Mrs Julie Viatos is the Quality Use of Medicines Manager at Consumer Healthcare Products Australia. She has more than 25 years' experience in regulatory affairs roles in the pharmaceutical industry across prescription and non-prescription medicines. She is a registered pharmacist with previous experience in community, hospital and drug information pharmacy. 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.

Nominated members

  • Dr Jane Cook
    Commonwealth
  • Ms Vivien Bevan
    Australian Capital Territory
  • Mr Peter Gilfedder
    New South Wales
  • Mr Sam Keitapaani
    Northern Territory
  • Mr Justin Lee
    Queensland
  • Ms Angela FitzHenry
    South Australia
  • Mr Sam Halliday
    Tasmania
  • Ms Wendy Yang
    Victoria
  • 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
Email medicines.scheduling@health.gov.au Committees@health.gov.au
Phone 1800 020 653
Postal Address Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
WODEN ACT 2606
Attn: Scheduling & Committee Support Section, MDP 122
Committee Support Unit
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
WODEN ACT 2606
Attn: Scheduling & Committee Support Section, MDP 122