This webpage replaces TG50/6 Approved Systems for Recording the Supply of Substances on Prescription Generally or in an Emergency to Health Professionals, which has been rescinded.

The Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (the Regulation) requires a pharmacist to keep a record of all prescriptions dispensed and of all emergency supplies of prescription-only medicines made to doctors, dentists, veterinary practitioners or nurse and midwife practitioners on the basis of their signed and dated written order.

Clauses 55, 57 and 113 of the Regulation state that the pharmacist must record the following details of the prescription or the emergency supply order, as the case may be, in a manner approved by the Secretary, NSW Health.

Details include, as a minimum:

  • all the details which are required to be included in the prescription or emergency supply order, such as the date, the name and address of the patient/practitioner, the name, strength and quantity of the substance, and, for prescriptions, adequate directions for use and number of repeats,
  • a unique reference number for the prescription or emergency supply order,
  • the date on which the prescription was dispensed or emergency supply made, and
  • the name of the pharmacist who dispensed the prescription or made the supply.

Recording systems approved by the Secretary of NSW Health

Computer record

In order to comply as an approved recording system, a pharmacist must ensure that their computer system meets, at a minimum, the specifications set out in the Standard for Dispensary Computers in NSW 2001 (the Standard 2001). This document accommodates both the legal and professional obligations of pharmacists in relation to prescription records.
Note: The Standard 2001 was originally published in 2001 by the then Pharmacy Board of NSW.
The Standard 2001 was revised in November 2014 to explain or remove references to defunct organisations and to clarify aspects of the standard, e.g. referring to electronic drug registers. 
The Standard 2001 is a document that will henceforth be maintained by the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit and a copy of it may be obtained by contacting the Duty Pharmaceutical Officer on (02) 9391 9944.

Prescription book

  • The prescription book must be in the form of a book that contains consecutively numbered pages and that is so bound that the pages cannot be removed or replaced without trace.
  • ​The pharmacist must record the full details of the prescription or emergency supply order in the prescription book.
  • In the case of dispensing a repeat prescription, it is sufficient to indicate a repeat of a prescription by recording the patient’s name, the date and the unique reference number allocated at the time the prescription was first dispensed at the pharmacy, rather than re-recording the full details of the prescription.

Duplicate copy or photocopy

The pharmacist may retain, as an approved record:
  • a duplicate copy of each prescription or emergency supply order, or
  • ​a photocopy of each prescription or emergency supply order, or
  • a written copy of the full details of each prescription or emergency supply order, provided that:
    1. ​each copy is given a consecutive letter or number which is incorporated in the record number, and
    2. all copies are maintained in sequential order in bound form.

Records generally

All records of prescriptions dispensed or emergency supplies made must be kept on the premises where the prescription was dispensed or order supplied and retained for two (2) years from the date of dispensing or supply.


Page Updated: Wednesday 7 August 2019
Contact page owner: Pharmaceutical Services