26 September 2023

Prescription changes are good medicine

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The Department of Health has issued new advice for pharmacists to assist their issuing of prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

In a statement, the Department said new Public Health Emergency Orders (PHEO) had been developed to enable the supply of prescription medicines to patients in special circumstances during the health crisis.

It said that under the Orders, a pharmacist could provide some medicines without a prescription if he or she was satisfied there was an immediate need.

“The medicine must have been previously prescribed, before continuation of current essential treatment and it is impracticable to obtain the prescription,” the Department said.

It said the pharmacist was required to record the details of the customer and prescription transaction.

It said pharmacists were also able to fill prescriptions using a digital image of an original prescription transmitted by the prescriber.

“The digital image of the paper prescription must be an unaltered photo or facsimile image of an original prescription,” the Department said.

It said forms of transmission of the digital image could include email, SMS, fax or other means of electronic transmission.

It said drugs of dependence may not be supplied under the Order.

“Drugs of dependence include all opioids, benzodiazepines and anabolic steroids,” the Department said.

It said prescriptions dispensed during the pandemic would be monitored in the usual way via the State’s SafeScript system.

The new PHEO can be accessed at this PS News link.

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