At the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Government introduced a range of measures to take the pressure off Australia’s health care system, such as the introduction of TeleHealth and E-Prescribing.
Another measure was to extend the Continued Dispensing rules to enable pharmacists to supply medicines without prescription to certain patients. These emergency measures were first introduced in response to the 2019-2020 Bushfires and extended due to COVID-19. Previously, these continued dispensing rules only applied to oral contraceptives and lipid lowering medications (statins). Pharmacists must continue to apply the guidelines issued by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia in relation to continued dispensing when making a determination to supply a medicine.
Prior to supplying a medicine under these measures, the pharmacist must be satisfied that:
These measures were due to expire at the end of March 2021. The Government has announced that these measures will be extended until 31 December 2021, having regard to the continued pressure placed by COVID-19 on the health system.
For details of all our COVID-19 tips and updates, visit the Gadens COVID-19 Hub.
Kelly Griffiths, Partner