Ensuring supply of prescribed medicines during COVID-19…

Prescription medication

COVID-19 is going to put an incredible strain on every part of our health system. 

If possible, it’s essential to streamline matters where we can. 

The Chief Health Officer has exercised powers available to him under the Public Health Act, to allow pharmacists to supply ongoing prescription medicines. 

This will be allowed when:

  • patients have already been prescribed with a medicine; 
  • their prescriptions have run out, and; 
  • it is not possible for them to see a doctor in time to obtain a new prescription for ongoing supply.

In these circumstances, if the pharmacist is satisfied that treatment is urgently needed they may
dispense a standard one-month quantity of the medicine.

This is effectively immediately and applies to all prescription medicines that require long-term, ongoing treatment, with the exception of controlled drugs.

The changes are not an opportunity for patients to stockpile medications, they are to ensure
patients health is not compromised as a result of disruptions caused by the present situation and
there will be strict limits on the additional amount available.

Patients requiring additional supplies should endeavour to attend their regular pharmacy and take along some proof of prior use of the medication – such as a recent empty packet. They should also be able to produce valid ID and a Medicare Card.