Harm Reduction Victoria


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrequently Asked Questions

What follows are some of the questions we are most often asked at PAMS. Please note, the answers provided here are very general. We strongly encourage you to call us PH: 1800 443 844  so that we can make sure we thoroughly understand your situation and ask questions when necessary. This way we can ensure the information we provide is specific to you and thus meets your individual needs.


Q.  My pharmacist has told me I am not permitted to stay on the program at ‘So and So Pharmacy’, are they allowed to do this?

A. Yes, a pharmacy is a small private business and they do not have to provide a service to anybody, regardless if the person is on a pharmacotherapy program.


Q. What is the maximum number of take away doses (TADS) I can get on methadone?

A. Usually 5, but this is not always as straight forward as it may seem, so please call us!


Q. My GP has told me I have to find another doctor and I can’t find one, what is their duty of care?

A. Usually, even if a GP has banned a client from the practice they will make sure the person has a script to cover them for at least a week or more. GPs do not have to provide a service to any patient they do not wish to see and finding a new pharmacotherapy GP can be hard, so contact PAMS as soon as you know you need a new GP and we can help.


Q. My pharmacist won’t dose me if I don’t have $5 to pay for the dose, is this illegal?

A. No, unfortunately a pharmacist does not HAVE to dose somebody who can’t pay for the dose. Many pharmacies put a “no money, no dose” clause in their pharmacotherapy client agreement. If this happens to you and you can’t get a dose, please call us at PAMS immediately.


Q. I have to go to court tomorrow and I will need another take away dose (TAD), can my pharmacist just give me one?

A. No, not unless you have ‘available’ (unused) take away doses left over that you can use. If this is NOT the case, then only your GP can authorise an additional take away dose.


Q. I have missed two doses of methadone this week, my script says I can have 5 take away dose’s (TADs) per week and my pharmacist is refusing to give me any, what can I do?

A. It is best to discuss this situation with your GP, otherwise contact PAMS and we can advocate on your behalf.