An elderly hospital patient in a wheelchair speaking to her doctor

Patient Access

Some medicines may have clinical value, but are not registered for general distribution within Australia.

However, under Australian therapeutic goods legislation, medical practitioners can request access to unregistered medicines for their patients in certain circumstances. Approval can be obtained from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) under the Special Access Scheme (SAS) or the Authorised Prescriber Scheme.

These pages provide information regarding the importing of unregistered medicines containing narcotic, psychotropic or precursor substances and guidance on completing an application for a licence (if required) and permit to import. The information relates to imported medicinal cannabis products but does not apply to domestically cultivated medicinal cannabis products.

Substances that are controlled under the Customs (Prohibited Import and Export) Regulations can be found on the controlled substances list.

This list provides guidance on which substances require import licences and/or permission to import or export. Importing or exporting these substances without obtaining such approval is prohibited.

Licence and permit application forms

To obtain a licence and permit to import a medicine containing a controlled substance approved under the Special Access Scheme a medical practitioner must complete certain steps.

Submitting an application

Contact information for the Office of Drug Control.