Health News

Aussies Can Now Access Essential Medicines Without A Prescription

Pharmacies will now be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to allow greater access to these medicines and reduce the burden on GPs during the coronavirus crisis.

It’s hoped that these changes will also support those who are social distancing and practicing self-isolation.

“The temporary provision means if patients are in urgent need and have not been able to access medical services or get to their doctor to receive their usual prescription, they can contact their pharmacist to discuss their options to get their essential medicines without a prescription,” Stephen Wade, South Australia’s Minister for Health told Adelaide Now.

“Pharmacists will be allowed to dispense different strengths of a product, such as two 20mg tablets in place of a 40mg tablet, or a different dose form of the same medicine, such as a capsule instead of a tablet.”

In an effort to control stockpiling, there will be restrictions on the quantity of medicines that can be purchased at any given time. In addition, controlled substances such as opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, hydroxychloroquine and some fertility drugs won’t be available over-the-counter.

“This will provide reassurance to citizens that they can get their medicines when they need them and help alleviate pressures on critical health and hospital services, allowing them to continue to provide essential health care,” Wade added.

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