16 February 2012
The National Health Amendment (Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement Initiatives) Bill 2011 implements two key initiatives of the Pharmacy Agreement, both of which will deliver better health outcomes for Australian consumers.
Continued dispensing will provide an additional mechanism for patients to gain access to certain Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines where a valid prescription is unavailable. This could apply, for example, in cases where a prescription has been lost and a doctor consultation is not readily available. Professional protocols will apply, so that quality and patient safety will not be compromised.
The measure will apply only to oral hormonal contraceptives, and Lipid Modifying Agents, known as statins, used in the treatment of high cholesterol.
The strict guidelines for continued dispensing will require that the medicine has been previously prescribed for the patient; that the therapy is stable and there has been prior clinical review by the prescriber that supports continuation of the medicine; and that the medicine is safe and appropriate for the consumer.
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