The Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Networks

The Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Networks (PABN) are a Victorian Government initiative to provide opioid pharmacotherapy support for primary care medical and nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians, across the state of Victoria including metropolitan, regional and rural areas.

Each PABN provides connections between primary health care, hospitals and Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services to create a more cohesive and strengthened pharmacotherapy service system.

What is opioid pharmacotherapy?

Opioid pharmacotherapy is Medication Assisted Treatment of Opioid Dependence (MATOD). It includes oral treatments such as methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex®, Suboxone®) as well as long-acting injectable buprenorphine treatments (Sublocade®, Buvidal®). Pharmacotherapy is also known as Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT), Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT), and Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST).

In Victoria, most pharmacotherapy is provided via a community model, mainly via General Practitioner (GP) and pharmacist service providers. Additional services may be provided by nurse practitioners, community health organisations and specialist nurses and AOD workers.

Your local PABN provides local support

There are two metropolitan and three regional PABNs. Each PABN is structured to meet local need and includes highly qualified management and specialist teams such as GPs, Nurse Practitioners, Addiction Medicine Specialists (AMS), Clinical and AOD nurses, and pharmacists. These teams recognise the diverse needs of practitioners and patients, and provide innovative and flexible approaches to meeting local needs.

See our About page to find the contact details for your local PABN.


Budget 2023 – funding for 50,000 pharmacotherapy patients.

The Federal Government has announced significant spending for opioid pharmacotherapy patients in it's 2023 budget. "50,000 Australians who need treatment for opioid dependency will have funded support to access the treatment they need at their local pharmacy a cost...

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CHO Alert – Poppy Seeds

The office of the Victorian Chief Health Officer has issued a health warning for for poppy seeds, when brewed into a tea or wash.

“Some batches of commercially available poppy seeds, when brewed into a concentrated form such as a tea, have resulted in cases of severe toxicity.”

As at November 11, here have been 19 emergency department presentations related to consumption of home-brewed poppy seed tea.

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July 1 PBS changes

From July 1, there are significant changes to how opioid pharmacotherapy is prescribed and supplied under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Victorian Opioid Management ECHO

Note: links in this section lead to a separate, dedicated ECHO website at

More information and registration

Upcoming sessions

Advancing pharmacotherapy practice nurses


The Pharmacotherapy Area-Based Networks have worked closely with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, key stakeholders and providers to develop a series of guides for responding to the challenges of providing pharmacotherapy services during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Get the guidelines now.