PSA welcomes extension to continued dispensing arrangements but permanency needed

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the Morrison Government’s decision to extend continued dispensing arrangements.


Announced today, this extension will allow pharmacists to continue providing their patients with up to one month’s supply of their Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines, if they are unable to access their prescription or a doctor in an emergency situation.


Most states and territories will automatically extend the legal authority for this, while NSW and Victoria will need to update local health orders.


PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, welcomed the announcement and once again urged the Government to make it permanent.


“It is reassuring to hear that this common-sense measure has been extended, but given that this is the fifth extension since it was introduced for the 2020 bushfires, why not just make it permanent?


“The success of these measures has been clearly demonstrated throughout the pandemic.  360,000 Australians have been able to access their vital medicines in an emergency in the past 20 months. That is more than 360,000 people whose health has not suffered from being stuck without the medicines they need for their health and wellbeing.


“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 some of their most vulnerable moments.


“Whether it be a pandemic, flood, bushfire, cyclone or a family tragedy – providing Australians with confidence that they can access their essential medicines, should disaster strike, is essential.


“As we approach summer, Australia’s natural disaster season, these measures are particularly important,” A/Prof Freeman said.


PSA will continue to work with federal, state and territory governments to progress and implement nationally consistent emergency supply provisions.



Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463