Guild welcomes the return of continued dispensing

10 January 2024

Patients are now able to access their medicines in emergency situations such as natural disasters after the federal government agreed to reactivate continued dispensing.

However, the measure will only be in place until March 1.

The instrument was used to great effect during the COVID-19 pandemic but was later deactivated.

The decision to reactivate continued dispensing follows comments by Pharmacy Guild National President Professor Trent Twomey, as he was assisting patients access their essential medicines in Far North Queensland following the floods caused by Cyclone Jasper.

“This is a reform that isn’t just needed in my neck of the woods after a natural disaster. This is a reform that should be in place as a matter of course,” Professor Twomey told Sky News in December.

Soon after, the Commonwealth Government confirmed that continued dispensing would be reinstated, meaning eligible patients will be able to access the maximum allowable quantity of their PBS medicines when there is an immediate need or they cannot get a prescription.

A spokesperson for the Pharmacy Guild says the decision to reactivate continued dispensing is one of commonsense.

“It is in the interest of preventative hospital admissions that patients have access to their essential medicines.

“There are many circumstances whether it be natural disasters or oversight where there is an urgent need for a patient to access their essential medicines.

“They should not be punished by bureaucratic rules in preventing them accessing their essential medicines in an emergency by having to wait to get a prescription issued.”

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The Guild


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Page last updated on: 10 January 2024