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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a precursor?

A precursor is a key ingredient. Pseudoephedrine which is the active ingredient in many common cough and cold treatments is a vital precursor in the manufacture of illicit methamphetamines. Unlike many of the other materials required to make methamphetamines there is no substitute for Pseudoephedrine.

What is precursor diversion?

In this context precursor diversion is where people systematically purchase Pseudoephedrine containing medicines not for legitimate health reasons but for the purpose of manufacturing illicit methamphetamines.

Do I have to present my ID if requested?

In Queensland if you request a Pseudoephedrine based product a pharmacist must request Government issued photo identification from you if you are unknown to them.
In States other than Queensland there is no such regulation and whilst you might be asked for photo identification you do not have to provide it.

What happens if I refuse to provide my ID?

Quality Use of Medicines guidelines require pharmacists to determine your therapeutic needs before supplying pseudoephedrine based products. These guidelines ensure you are getting the most suitable product for your condition.

An important piece of information in determining genuine therapeutic need is whether or not you have purchased pseudoephedrine within appropriate levels over a given time period. Providing your identification helps your pharmacist to make this determination quickly and accurately.

If you decide not to provide your identification and take part in Project STOP, your pharmacist may consider it relevant to take this into account when considering your request for pseudoephedrine.

A number of alternative medications suitable for many cold and flu symptoms are available without having to provide your identification. Please ask your pharmacist for further details.

What information is recorded about me?

The information can vary from state to state based on the requirements of the various regulations that pharmacists operate under. In general the database
may contain information on:

  • Your photo identification number
  • The product which you requested
  • The amount of product requested
  • Whether the product was supplied or not
  • Where the State or Territory has additional recording
    requirements you may be required to provide further information.

How will my information be used and who will it be given to?

The information held in Project STOP is stored securely and access to it is strictly controlled and monitored.

If your identification number was previously entered into the database within the project’s threshold period, Project STOP presents the following information to the pharmacist about the previous sales in that period: the product and quantity sold, and the location and date of each sale.

This purchase information plus your identification number will only be accessible by health authorities and the police. Project STOP is only used by these third parties for the purposes of monitoring pseudoephedrine sales and preventing the illicit use of pseudoephedrine. Pharmacists may also be required to maintain a log of their sales depending on the jurisdictional requirements.

Personal information in the Project STOP database is held for no longer than 2 years after the date of collection, or as prescribed by relevant state or territory regulations. After this time, all personal information is removed, except where it has been determined by police that inappropriate use of pseudoephedrine has occurred, in which case the data may be held for an extended period.

In States and Territories where regulations require the collection of other identification details (e.g. name and address) for the purposes of supplying a Schedule 3 medication, pharmacists will also need to record that information. However, it is important to note that this information is not being collected for the purpose of Project STOP.

How long is my data held for?

The data is held for a period of 2 years at which time all identifying information is removed and only the product and pharmacy information is retained.

What can I do to check my records if I believe a mistake may have been made?

You have several options:

  1. Use the information request form located in the main menu of this web site to advice us of your request.
  2. Write to us at the address listed in the contact details section of this website.
    In your letter please detail:
  • Your name and address
  • The identification number you used in the transaction in question
  • The pharmacy you visited
  • The date and approximate time of the visit
  • The nature of your issue.

We will endeavor to respond to all requests promptly.

What can I do if I believe my rights in regard to privacy have been breached?

In the first instance you can contact us and we will attempt to resolve your issue. If our response is unsatisfactory or you would prefer not to speak with us you can make contact with the appropriate privacy organization in your state. A list of these can be found under Privacy in the main menu of this website.


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