NSW pharmacists given new emergency dispensing rules
Pharmacists providing prescription medicines to patients impacted by bushfires in NSW will be allowed to dispense a full month’s supply under emergency provisions announced by NSW Health last night.
Under the special authority, NSW-based pharmacists will be allowed to dispense standard Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) quantities and standard pack sizes of non-PBS medicines without a prescription, where they are satisfied there is an urgent therapeutic need and getting a prescription is not practical.
Welcoming the move, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) NSW Branch President, Peter Carroll, said the scale of the fire raging across the state had “resulted in unprecedented demand on pharmacists”.
“We have heard many stories and first-hand examples of pharmacists going above and beyond in their support of their communities,” he said.
“But up until now, the inability to supply more than three-days’ supply of medicines to people has been an unacceptable barrier to accessing and providing care to people in these disaster-affected zones.”
“This announcement means that people separated from their prescription medicines or prescriptions will be able to access their regular medicines needed for managing chronic health conditions, such as blood pressure, depression, diabetes, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).”
The special provision, which is effective immediately will expire on 31 Mar, unless earlier revoked.
See tomorrow’s edition of Pharmacy Daily for more.