Wednesday, 27 May 2020
Pharmacists to be given power to prescribe alternative meds

Pharmacists will be able to prescribe suitable alternative medicine if a patient's usual drugs are not available.

The Queensland Government will make the changes once Therapeutic Goods Administration enacts protocols for prescribed Schedule 4 restricted drugs.

People will also be able to buy their maximum Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme allotment or pack size without a prescription if the pharmacist agrees there is an immediate need for them.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland President Chris Campbell said the changes were necessary and will assist pharmacists in providing necessary care to the community.

“Queensland is the first state or territory to enable pharmacists to implement the TGA therapeutic substitution protocols when they are released, which is one of many measures the Government, through pharmacists, are tackling the growing issue of medicines shortage around Australia,” he said.

“Dispensing therapeutic substitutions to patients is well within the current skill set of every pharmacist in Queensland and it is very important we continue to work with the Government and TGA to ensure there is as little bureaucratic red tape as possible and patient care and safety are paramount.”

The government also announced pharmacists would be able to administer the meningococcal vaccine to children aged 10 and older (previously 16 and older) as well as allowing Queensland pharmacists to be the first pharmacists in Australia to provide the Pneumococcal vaccination.

The plan, Mr Campbell said, is that if and when a COVID 19 vaccination is available, pharmacists would be able to administer that too.

“This forward thinking plan will allow the most rapid uptake of COVID 19 immunisation possible, leveraging off the wide network of pharmacists in the state and will help to rapidly protect Queenslanders and will save lives,” he said.