Naloxone Pilot

In the Take Home Naloxone Pilot, the drug naloxone will be available free to people who are at risk of, or who may witness, an opioid overdose. Funded by the Australian Government, the pilot will run between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2021, in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

The Australian Government is investing $10 million in a take home naloxone (THN) pilot in New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, which will commence on 1 December 2019.

Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. It can be injected or delivered through a nasal spray.  In the THN pilot, naloxone (as either Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL), Naloxone Juno, Nyxoid and Prenoxad) will be available free to people who are at risk of, or who may witness, an opioid overdose. No prescription will be required.

More information about the THN pilot, the drug naloxone – including how to access it –and opioid overdose can be found here.

The pilot is being evaluated by the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland and is being administered by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA).

Each participating state (New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia) will identify where naloxone will be available as part of the pilot. Approved Providers under the pilot are expected to include community pharmacies, hospital-based pharmacies and approved medical practitioners, who will be reimbursed for supplying naloxone under the pilot by the PPA.

Organisations such as alcohol and other drug treatment services, injecting centres, and homelessness/outreach services can also supply naloxone by first becoming an Authorised Alternative Supplier.  Information about registering to become an Authorised Alternative Supplier can be found here.

Naloxone will be provided to Authorised Alternative Suppliers by pharmaceutical wholesalers, s94 hospitals or the Western Australia Mental Health Commission, who will be paid by the PPA.

Eligibility to take part in the THN pilot requires providers to meet a set of criteria, which are specific to provider-type. Eligibility criteria can be found below.

Community (S90) and Hospital (S94) Pharmacies

To be eligible to participate in the THN pilot, and receive payments for naloxone supplied under the pilot, a community or hospital pharmacy must:

  • Be approved under sections 90 and 94 of the National Health Act 1953
  • Register for the THN pilot via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal
  • Confirm that it is registered for GST
  • Agree the pharmacy trading name and location may be listed on the Department of Health’s pilot website and/or provided to participating state health departments for communications relating to the pilot
  • Agree to provide services in accordance with the THN Pilot Guidelines, available from the Downloads section of this page.

Approved Medical Practitioners (S92)

To be eligible to participate in the THN pilot, and receive payments for naloxone supplied under the pilot, an approved medical practitioner (dispensing doctor) must:

  • Be approved under section 92 of the National Health Act 1953
  • Register for the THN pilot via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal
  • Confirm that they are registered for GST
  • Agree that their practice trading name and location may be listed on the Department of Health’s pilot website, and/or provided to participating state health departments for communications relating to the pilot
  • Agree to provide services in accordance with the THN Pilot Guidelines, available from the Downloads section of this page.

Authorised Alternative Suppliers

To be eligible to participate in the THN pilot, and supply naloxone under the pilot, an Approved Alternative Supplier must:

  • Be approved by the relevant State health authority to provide naloxone under the THN Pilot Program
  • Agree to provide services in accordance with the THN Pilot Guidelines, available from the Downloads section of this page.

Some AAS will also be required to Register for the THN pilot via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal and provide evaluation data directly to the PPA. These AAS are:

  • Non-government AAS in New South Wales
  • All AAS in South Australia.

Wholesalers

To be eligible to participate in the THN pilot, and receive payments for naloxone supplied under the pilot, the wholesaler must:

  • Have an arrangement in place with the Commonwealth Government to supply naloxone to Approved Alternative Suppliers under the THN Pilot Program
  • Register for the THN pilot via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal
  • Confirm that it is registered for GST
  • Agree to provide services in accordance with the Take Home Naloxone Pilot Guidelines, available from the Downloads section of this page.

Individuals receiving naloxone

Anyone in NSW, SA or WA is able to access free naloxone under the pilot.

Specifically, the pilot aims are to make naloxone free and easily available for:

  • People who are at risk of an overdose, which includes illicit drug users and people who use prescription opioid medications
  • Carers, friends, family and community.

The Australian Government is investing $10 million in the THN pilot, which is running between 1 December 2019 and 28 February 2021.

In order to receive payments for naloxone supplied under the pilot, Approved Providers must submit eligible claims, subject to the below requirements. The requirements for the submission of evaluation data are also shown below.

Community pharmacies (S90)

From 1 December 2019:

  • Naloxone (Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL), Naloxone Juno, Nyxoid and Prenoxad) can be dispensed from the pharmacy’s own stock to an individual, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit)
  • The pharmacy can then submit a claim for the supply of naloxone (including dispensing fees) through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal.

The pharmacy must provide the following information via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, in order to claim a payment:

  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied (maximum of two)
  • Staff designation (e.g. Pharmacist, Social Worker)
  • Whether the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes (see below).

You should discuss with the individual whether they consent to provide information for evaluation purposes, using the Participant Information Statement as a guide.

If the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes, the following additional information must also be recorded in the portal (note: this information is only mandatory for evaluation purposes, and not for claiming purposes):

  • Type of individual (i.e. at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, or at risk of witnessing one)
  • Gender of the individual
  • Type of opioid (i.e. prescribed, other source, witness only)
  • Whether this was the first time the individual had received naloxone (‘initial supply’), or they had received it before (‘refill’)
  • Whether any brief education or advice was provided in relation to naloxone supply.

In addition, the following optional information for the evaluation should also be reported for consenting individuals, where available:

  • The estimated age range and postcode of the individual
  • The reason a refill was required (if applicable)
  • Other medications/substances used
  • Whether any additional resources were provided in relation to naloxone supply.
State specific requirements

In South Australia, two additional fields should be collected:

  • Whether a voucher was supplied
  • Voucher colour.

More information about the pilot in South Australia can be found here.

Guidance on how to ask and answer these questions is provided here.

Hospital pharmacies (S94)

Two models of supply will operate for hospitals:

  • Individual supply arrangements, where naloxone is provided to an individual in a hospital setting
  • Bulk supply arrangements, where the hospital will act as a ‘wholesaler’ and supply to AAS sites.

The type of supply arrangements each hospital can participate in will vary according to the State they are located in.

Individual supply

In all States, from 1 December 2019:

  • Naloxone (Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL), Naloxone Juno, Nyxoid and Prenoxad) can be dispensed from the pharmacy’s own stock to an individual, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit).

From 1 December 2019 until mid-January 2020:

From mid-January 2020:

  • The pharmacy can submit claims for the supply of naloxone (including dispensing fees) through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal
    • For retrospective claims (i.e. those relating to the supply of naloxone prior to mid-January 2020), the pharmacy will need to enter the information originally recorded in their Pharmacy Programs Administrator Excel spreadsheet, into the portal.

The pharmacy must provide the following information via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, in order to claim a payment:

  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied (maximum of two)
  • Staff designation (e.g. Pharmacist, Social Worker)
  • Whether the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes (see below).

You should discuss with the individual whether they consent to provide information for evaluation purposes, using the Participant Information Statement as a guide.

If the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes, the following additional information must also be recorded in the portal  (note: this information is only mandatory for evaluation purposes, and not for claiming purposes):

  • Type of individual (i.e. at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, or at risk of witnessing one)
  • Gender of the individual
  • Type of opioid (i.e. prescribed, other source, witness only)
  • Whether this was the first time the individual had received naloxone (‘initial supply’), or they had received it before (‘refill’)
  •  Whether any brief education or advice was provided in relation to naloxone supply.

In addition, the following optional information for the evaluation should also be reported for consenting individuals, where available:

  • The estimated age range and postcode of the individual
  • The reason a refill was required (if applicable)
  • Other medications/substances used
  • Whether any additional resources were provided in relation to naloxone supply.

Guidance on how to ask and answer these questions is provided here.

Bulk supply

In some instances, hospitals may act as ‘wholesalers’ for the purposes of the THN Pilot Program and supply bulk quantities of naloxone to AAS in both New South Wales and South Australia.

From 1 December 2019:

  • In NSW, public hospital pharmacies can bulk supply naloxone to Government Organisations that are Authorised Approved Suppliers (GO AAS) in the THN pilot
  • In SA, after reaching agreement with SA Health, private hospital pharmacies can supply AAS.

From mid-January 2020 until 1 March 2020:

  • Pharmacies can register in the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal to receive future payments relating to the bulk supply of naloxone.

From 1 March 2020:

  • Pharmacies can submit claims for payment for the bulk supply of naloxone to GO AAS, through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal – including for bulk supplies made under the pilot between 1 December 2019 and 1 March 2020.

Note: Hospital pharmacies claiming for bulk supply of naloxone under the THN pilot will have no data reporting obligations in relation to the evaluation of the pilot, evaluation data will be the responsibility of supplying AAS. However, in order to be paid, the following information is required:

  • Name of AAS naloxone supplied to
  • Address of AAS naloxone supplied to
  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied.

Approved Medical Practitioners (S92)

From 1 December 2019:

  • Naloxone (Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL), Naloxone Juno, Nyxoid and Prenoxad) can be supplied by an approved medical practitioner to an individual, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit).

From 1 December 2019 until mid-January 2020:

From mid-January 2020:

  • The approved medical practitioner can submit claims for the supply of naloxone through the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal 
    • For retrospective claims (i.e. those relating to the supply of naloxone prior to mid-January 2020), the approved medical practitioner will need to enter the information originally recorded in their Pharmacy Programs Administrator Excel spreadsheet, into the portal.

The approved medical practitioner must provide the following information via the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, in order to claim a payment:

  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied (maximum of two)
  • Staff designation (e.g. Pharmacist, Social Worker)
  • Whether the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes (see below).

You should discuss with the individual whether they consent to provide information for evaluation purposes, using the Participant Information Statement as a guide.

If the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes, the following additional information must also be recorded in the portal (note: this information is only mandatory for evaluation purposes, and not for claiming purposes):

  • Type of individual (i.e. at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, or at risk of witnessing one)
  • Gender of the individual
  • Type of opioid (i.e. prescribed, other source, witness only)
  • Whether this was the first time the individual had received naloxone (‘initial supply’), or they had received it before (‘refill’)
  • Whether any brief education or advice was provided in relation to naloxone supply.

In addition, the following optional information for the evaluation should also be reported for consenting individuals, where available:

  • The estimated age range and postcode of the individual
  • The reason a refill was required (if applicable)
  • Other medications/substances used
  • Whether any additional resources were provided in relation to naloxone supply.

Guidance on how to ask and answer these questions is provided here.

Authorised Alternative Suppliers

New South Wales

Government organisations

From 1 December 2019:

  • Government Organisations that are Authorised Alternative Suppliers (GO AAS) and have an existing bulk supply arrangement with a public hospital pharmacy, can supply naloxone to individuals, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit).

Information about evaluation data collection processes will be provided by NSW Health.

Non-government organisations

From 1 December 2019:

Non-Government Organisations that are an Authorised Alternative Supplier (NGO AAS) and have opened an account with a Commonwealth approved wholesaler, can supply naloxone to individuals, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit).

From 1 December 2019 until mid-January 2020:

From mid-January 2020:

  • NGO AAS will need to submit information relating to the supply of naloxone for evaluation purposes to the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, including retrospective information collected between 1 December 2019 and mid-January 2020.

The NGO AAS must record:

  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied (maximum of two)
  • Staff designation (e.g. Pharmacist, Social Worker)
  • Whether the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes (see below).

You should discuss with the individual whether they consent to provide information for evaluation purposes, using the Participant Information Statement as a guide.

If the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes, the following additional information must also be recorded in the portal (note: this information is only mandatory for evaluation purposes, and not for claiming purposes):

  • Type of individual (i.e. at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, or at risk of witnessing one)
  • Gender of the individual
  • Type of opioid (i.e. prescribed, other source, witness only)
  • Whether this was the first time the individual had received naloxone (‘initial supply’), or they had received it before (‘refill’)
  • Whether any brief education or advice was provided in relation to naloxone supply.

In addition, the following optional information for the evaluation should also be reported for consenting individuals, where available:

  • The estimated age range and postcode of the individual
  • The reason a refill was required (if applicable)
  • Other medications/substances used
  • Whether any additional resources were provided in relation to naloxone supply.

South Australia

In South Australia, a small number of AAS will participate in the pilot, and will receive their naloxone via a bulk supply arrangement with an s94 private hospital pharmacy.

From 1 December 2019:

  • AAS that have an existing account with a hospital pharmacy for bulk supply, can supply naloxone to individuals, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit).

From 1 December 2019 until mid-January 2020:

From mid-January 2020:

  • The AAS will need to submit information relating to the supply of naloxone for evaluation purposes to the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal, including retrospective information collected prior to 1 March 2020.

The AAS must record:

  • Date of naloxone supply
  • Formulations and quantities of naloxone supplied (maximum of two)
  • Staff designation (e.g. Pharmacist, Social Worker)
  • Whether the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes (see below).

You should discuss with the individual whether they consent to provide information for evaluation purposes, using the Participant Information Statement as a guide.

If the individual receiving naloxone consented to their de-identified data being collected and reported for evaluation purposes, the following additional information must also be recorded in the portal (note: this information is only mandatory for evaluation purposes, and not for claiming purposes):

  • Type of individual (i.e. at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose, or at risk of witnessing one)
  • Gender of the individual
  • Type of opioid (i.e. prescribed, other source, witness only)
  • Whether this was the first time the individual had received naloxone (‘initial supply’), or they had received it before (‘refill’)
  • Whether any brief education or advice was provided in relation to naloxone supply.

In addition, the following optional information for the evaluation should also be reported for consenting individuals, where available:

  • The estimated age range and postcode of the individual
  • The reason a refill was required (if applicable)
  • Other medications/substances used
  • Whether any additional resources were provided in relation to naloxone supply.

Guidance on how to ask and answer these questions is provided here.

Western Australia

From 1 December 2019:

  • Authorised Alternative Suppliers (AAS) can dispense naloxone to individuals, under the THN pilot (maximum of two supplies of naloxone per visit)
    • Naloxone stock will first need to be ordered from the Western Australia Mental Health Commission (WA MHC).

Information about evaluation data collection processes will be provided by the WA MHC.

Wholesalers

From 1 December 2019:

  • Wholesalers with an agreement with the Commonwealth can supply naloxone to Non-Government Organisations that are NGO AAS in the THN pilot.

From 1 March 2020:

  • Wholesalers can register in the Pharmacy Programs Administrator Portal and submit invoices for payments relating to the supply of naloxone to NGO AAS, under the THN pilot – including for supplies made between 1 December 2019 and 1 March 2020

Note: Wholesalers claiming for supply of naloxone under the THN pilot will have no data reporting obligations in relation to the evaluation of the pilot (i.e. the ASS dispensing the naloxone will collect and report evaluation data).

Payments relating to the supply of naloxone under the THN pilot will be made in accordance with Approved Provider-type (and supply type, where applicable) and will have GST added:

Community pharmacies (s90)

Product Individual supply (ex GST) 
Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)  $48.42
Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)  $48.42
Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)  $53.37
Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules) $53.37

 

Hospital pharmacies (s94)

Public hospitals

Product Individual supply (ex GST)  Bulk supply (ex GST)
Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)  $36.94 $34.36
Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)  $36.94 $34.36
Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)  $41.89 $38.96
Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules) $41.89 $38.96

Private hospitals

Product Individual supply (ex GST)  Bulk supply (ex GST)
Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)  $44.85 $34.36
Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)  $44.85 $34.36
Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)  $49.87 $38.96
Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules) $49.87 $38.96

 

Approved Medical Practitioners (s92)

Product Individual supply (ex GST) 
Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)  $48.42
Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)  $48.42
Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)  $53.37
Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules) $53.37

 

Wholesalers

Product Bulk supply (ex GST) 
Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)  $44.85
Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)  $44.85
Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)  $49.87
Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules) $49.87

 

Take Home Naloxone Pilot FAQ

  1. The states participating in the pilot are New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia.

  2. The following types of naloxone are included in the pilot:

    Nyxoid  (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)

    Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)

    Naloxone Juno  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5×1 mL ampoules)

    Naloxone Hydrochloride (DBL)  (naloxone hydrochloride 400 microgram/mL injection, 5 x 1 mL ampoules)

  3. If you are an S90 or 9S4 pharmacy or approved medical practitioner you will need to order stock through your normal wholesaler/s.

    Any stock given out as part of the pilot can then be claimed for payment via the PPA Portal.

    AAS ordering mechanisms depend on the State you are located in, please contact your relevant State health body.

  4. You can provide a participant with a maximum of two times the PBS maximum quantity of product per visit.  This may be two units of the same product or one unit of two different products.  For example:

    2 x Nyxoid (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation)

    OR

    1 x Nyxoid (naloxone 1.8 mg/actuation nasal spray, 2×1 actuation) and
    1 x Prenoxad  (naloxone hydrochloride 1 mg/mL injection, 2 mL syringe)

  5. No. You may provide naloxone to anyone who is at risk of an overdose. You may also give naloxone to anyone who may be a witness to an overdose (this includes carers, friends, family and community members).

  6. Yes this is fine. There is no limit to the number of visits a participant can make to pick up naloxone.

    Each visit however, must be entered as a separate individual supply claim in the PPA portal.

  7. The selection should be based on your conversation with the individual.  It is also fine to supply one unit of two different products (for example one unit of Nyxoid and one unit of Prenoxad).

  8. No. If you dispense a prescription for naloxone you cannot also then claim through the THN Pilot for providing the stock. You also cannot charge the individual any other fees.

    Audit and compliance activities may be undertaken to ensure stock claimed through the PBS is not double claimed through the PPA portal.

  9. Supply fees differ depending on your organisation type and which naloxone product/s you have supplied. You cannot charge the participant any additional fees on top of the THN pilot remuneration.

    Please refer to the Payments section of this page for this information.

  10. An individual claim is made when naloxone has been given directly to a participant (i.e a person at risk of experiencing or witnessing an opioid overdose).

    Please see Pilot Guidelines for further information on the organisations who can submit this claim type.

  11. A bulk claim is made when naloxone stock has been provided to an Authorised Alternative Supplier (AAS).

    Please see Pilot Guidelines for further information on the organisations who can submit this claim type.

  12. No, you will not receive payment for giving out naloxone to pilot participants.

    You will however, be asked to collect evaluation data for the pilot.

    Data is collected for the pilot evaluator in different ways depending on your State and the type of AAS you are.

    Please refer to Appendix A in the Pilot Guidelines for further information.

  13. The THN pilot is being evaluated by the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland and data is being collected to assist them to undertake their evaluation. The Participant Information Statement contains information you can provide to individuals when you seek their consent to collect evaluation data.