Medicines can do great good, but used in the wrong way they can do serious harm. In Australia, medicines are controlled by laws that divide them into different ‘Schedules’. There are nine Schedules that carefully control medicines, chemicals and poisons that have the potential to do harm, and instead make sure they are used safely.

For example, Schedule 2 medicines must be purchased in a pharmacy, Schedule 3 must be purchased from a pharmacist, and Schedule 4 medicines require a prescription.

These Schedules underpin the important service and advice that pharmacy staff offer their customers when providing these medicines. If in the past you have needed a pharmacy or pharmacist only medicine (Schedule 2 or 3), it is likely you will have been asked questions such as ‘Who is it for?’ or ‘Have you taken it before?’.

These are all part of the way pharmacy staff are caring for you and making sure that the medicine is right for you at that time. These protections also make sure medicines you might use often are available without a prescription, but still come with a level of advice and support.

For more information: