Updated guidance for prescribing ‘off-label’ in psychiatry

The College’s Professional Practice Guideline 4: ‘Off-label’ prescribing in psychiatry has been updated by the Practice, Policy and Partnerships Committee to reflect contemporary prescribing practice when using medicines ‘off-label’. The guidance has not fundamentally changed from the previous 2018 version but provides further information regarding regulation governing off-label prescribing, as well as providing advice on risk and justification for use when prescribing off-label. 

It is recognised that off-label prescribing in psychiatry is common, frequently owing to the regulatory obstacles to repurposing medications for which there is evidence. 

This presents challenges to many people with mental illness who find it difficult to access medicines that benefit them in an affordable manner. The College is continuing to liaise with the relevant regulatory bodies, including the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia and Medsafe in New Zealand to effect policy change to ensure that patients can receive high quality and affordable evidence-based treatments. In Australia, the College has been engaged specifically in discussions regarding the implementation of the Medicines Repurposing Program

For further information please contact policy@ranzcp.org.


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