Australians now reassured they will have access to essential medicines in their next emergency

Friday 25 March 2022


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) strongly supports today’s announcement that continued dispensing arrangements will become permanent later this year.


This morning, the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Greg Hunt, announced that from 1 July 2021, continued dispensing arrangements, currently set to expire on 30 June, will become permanent across Australia.


PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, applauded the development.


“From the 1st of July this year, a permanent measure will come into effect which ensures that Australians can continue to access essential medicines during times of an emergency. We applaud the Government making these common-sense arrangements permanent.


“Whether it be a pandemic, flood, bushfire, or a family tragedy, this provides Australians with confidence they can access their essential medicines when they may not be able to access their prescriptions or a doctor.


“Being able to access PBS subsidy for emergency supply of medicines is vital to ensuring patients are not hit with out-of-pocket costs during vulnerable times.


“These emergency measures have clearly been successful throughout the pandemic. Over an 18-month period, between January 2020 and the end of June 2021, more than 600,000 vital medicines were accessed under these provisions.


“After a tumultuous few years of natural disasters and five temporary extensions to the measures, this was the logical and sensible step to take – particularly given no major problems have been identified.


“PSA’s standards and guidelines have proved critical to helping the profession navigate the expanded provisions throughout the pandemic.


“Now it’s up to state and territory governments to enable this by ensuring that regulations and barriers currently precluding these arrangements are removed,” A/Prof Freeman said.


PSA will continue to work closely with all governments to progress and implement nationally consistent emergency supply provisions.


Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463


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