PSA again calls for permanent continued dispensing arrangements

28 March 2024


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) is again calling on governments to make continued dispensing measures permanent.

The National Health (Continued Dispensing – Emergency Measure) Determination 2023 allows Australians to access a one-off supply of their regular medicines from a pharmacist if they are separated from their medicines and cannot contact a prescriber.

Current measures are set to expire on Sunday 31 March, reducing the list of medicines accessible from 755 molecules to only 150.

PSA Chief Executive Officer Adjunct Associate Professor Steve Morris said the winding back of continued dispensing measures at the end of March may leave patients without access to their medicines.

“Continued dispensing allows pharmacists to issue a single supply of a medicine when a patient cannot get in contact with their usual prescriber,” Adj. A/Prof. Morris said.

“It is a safety net to ensure the continuity of care when they can’t get see a GP.

“We’ve seen temporary continued dispensing measures introduced during natural disasters, which is important, but there are several scenarios where a permanent policy would help patients, from personal emergencies to natural disasters.

“PSA is again urging the Federal Government to work with state and territory governments to permanently protect emergency access to medicines,” Adj. A/Prof Morris concluded.

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au