Nitschke to import banned barbiturate

EUTHANASIA advocate Dr Philip Nitschke has secured permission to import the banned barbiturate pentobarbital (Nembutal) and could be in a position to prescribe the drug to a terminally ill patient within the week.

Dr Nitschke and another Sydney doctor applied under the TGA’s special access provisions to import Nembutal to prescribe to two Category A patients, and Dr Nitschke said he received notice last week he was free to import the drug.

“This application has gone further than I ever thought it would,” Dr Nitschke said.

“That’s very encouraging for the patient, but there is still a way to go until we can actually prescribe the drug.”

The special access provisions require a doctor to assert the recipient of the prescription is a Category A patient, expected to die within a few months, and to adhere to “good medical practice” in providing the drug.

Dr Nitschke said