26 September 2023

Pharmacies step up in bushfire-affected areas

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NSW Health has announced that pharmacies will be free to issue certain medicines without prescription and distribute free face masks to assist communities hit by bushfires.

Chief Health Officer at NSW Health, Kerry Chant said the three-day supply of prescription medicines that could be issued in emergencies had been extended to allow pharmacists to supply larger quantities of most prescription-only medicines without a prescription.

“Those in a bushfire-affected area who don’t have access to their medicine or prescription, can call their GP and ask them to send a prescription to a nearby pharmacist,” Dr Chant said.

“If you can’t contact your GP, you can go to a local pharmacy to get an emergency supply of most medicines without a prescription,” she said.

“Only certain medicines, such as benzodiazepines and opioids, will still require a prescription.”

Dr Chant said the special arrangement for the emergency supply of medicines would be in place until 31 March.

She said NSW Health would also supply free disposable P2/N95 face masks to communities via pharmacies in bushfire-affected local health districts.

“For these masks to be effective, it’s important they are fitted according to the manufacturer’s instructions and form a tight seal around the face.”

“The best way to protect yourself from bushfire smoke and poor air quality is to reduce your exposure by staying indoors with windows and doors closed, and to avoid outdoor exercise,” Dr Chant said.

Further information on P2 masks, including stock locations can be accessed at this PS News link.

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