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MA welcomes the Government’s actions to ensure continued access to medicines

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Media Release

Medicines Australia CEO Elizabeth de Somer has welcomed today’s announcement by the deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly introducing limits on dispensing certain prescription medicines and other pharmaceutical products such as Ventolin and children’s Panadol to address unnecessary panic purchasing at community pharmacies.

Medicines Australia CEO, Ms Elizabeth de Somer said: “It’s important to stress that there are no shortages of medicines and no need to stock up with more than your usual supply of medicines.

“These measures will ensure that medicines can be supplied in an equitable way to all patients that need them, and will ensure that our most vulnerable will continue have access to these medicines when they need them,” she said.

“We encourage all Australians to take the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and the Government as we all work together through the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Panic buying like we have recently seen will deplete stocks and create local shortages which creates supply chain disruption at a larger level.

“This is an emerging situation and one we may be dealing with for some time. Prudent management of our medicines supply now will assist in the long-term maintenance of our supply chain,” said Ms de Somer.

The restrictions include:

  • pharmacists will be required to limit dispensing of certain prescription products to one months’ supply at the prescribed dose, and some over-the-counter medicines (i.e Ventolin) to a maximum of one unit per purchase. (Click here)
  • in addition, pharmacists will be strongly encouraged to limit dispensing of all other medicines to one months’ supply or one unit.
  • Pharmacists will be required to place some over-the-counter medicines ie children’s paracetamol formulations behind the counter to assist in allocating supply equitably.

For more information about medicines shortages, please visit: https://apps.tga.gov.au/Prod/msi/search?shortagetype=All

Ends – More information – Natalie Wimmer – nwimmer@medaus.com.au – 0450 728 660

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