Here's an update about measures the Australian Government has introduced for the purchasing of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Part of these new measures includes enabling people to have up to one-months’ supply of their usual prescription.
And if you need to head out to the chemist, pharmacies have been classified as essential services and will remain open for people to fill their usual prescriptions. If you have cancer, and want to avoid unnecessary exposure to public places, consider asking a family member or friend to fill your script for you.
You may also be interested to hear about the Home Medicines Program which enables people who are immunocompromised, including cancer patients, as well as those who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or show symptoms of COVID-19, to order their Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescription medicines online and have them delivered.
The federal government have released a fact sheet, which contains further information about this program.
The following are FAQ's that have been put together by Cancer Council relating to COVID-19 and medicines.
The Australian Government has introduced measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure appropriate purchasing of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. This includes enabling people to have up to one-months supply of their usual prescription. Pharmacies are classified as essential services and are likely to remain open to enable people to fill usual prescriptions. If you have cancer, friends or family may be able to fill your prescriptions for you to avoid unnecessary exposure to public places.
The Home Medicines Program enables people who have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, show symptoms of COVID-19 or people who are immunocompromised, including cancer patients, to order Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme prescription medicines online and have them delivered.
Medicines Australia, which represents the pharmaceutical industry, has notified the public that it doesn’t anticipate shortages of medicines as a result of COVID-19 and that there is no need to stock up with more than your usual supply of medicines.
However, as you may be required to quarantine or self-isolate, you might benefit from ensuring you have access to your medicines to ensure your ongoing treatment and side effect management is not disrupted if in isolation.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration publishes disruptions to the supply of medicines on their website, and if a particular medicine is unavailable, the Therapeutic Goods Administration approves a substitute product for doctors to continue to appropriately treat patients during the shortage period.
If you are concerned about ongoing access to cancer treatment or medicines for the management of side effects you should speak to your doctor or local pharmacist, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for guidance.
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