Methadone Treatment: only very small daily methadone dosages available
The maximum quantity of methadone which can be prescribed for an approved drug dependent patient is 150mg (one hundred and fifty milligrams) per week!!!
Methadone is available in 5mg tablets only. There is no oral solution available.
Case-by-case arrangements can be made for short stay visiting patients via the Acting Permanent Secretary for Health and Social Welfare. Treatment and dispensing will be managed by a general practitioner in collaboration with a retail pharmacist approved to supply methadone tablets on a daily basis. It should be noted that retail pharmacies are found only in urban areas and that methadone supply would not be possible at one of the island resorts. The patient’s home prescriber must communicate with the Fiji Ministry of Health well in advance of the patient’s expected date of arrival in Fiji.
The patient is responsible for organizing sufficient methadone supplies from his/her home clinic to cover the period of travel to Fiji and until the next standard working day. He/she should carry a letter from the clinic doctor authorizing him/her to hold the stated quantity of methadone for personal treatment. Provided that satisfactory arrangements were made well in advance of the travel, the patient can then receive treatment locally. The patient has to cover all costs for medical and pharmacist consultations. Arrangements will be made in Fiji for prescription and supply of sufficient methadone to cover the travel period from Fiji to the patient’s home. One additional dose may be supplied to cover any unforeseen travel disruption. The exact quantity of methadone supplied will be notified by facsimile to the patient’s home treatment clinic.
Importation of Methadone: no laid down regulations
Under the Dangerous Drugs Act it is illegal for any person other than the Government Pharmacist to import narcotics into Fiji. However, the Act is silent on addressing the issue of a patient importing or exporting prescribed methadone for his/her personal use. It might happen that a customs officer stops such a patient and seeks confirmation before permitting the import or export of the medication. Therefore, we strongly advise methadone patients to carry with them a letter from their clinic or GP which clearly supports their need for the medication.
Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
Acting Permanent Secretary
Dr. N. Goneyali
Phone: +679 306177
Fax: +679 306163