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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2392

(Question No. 5179)

Mr Conquest asked the Minister representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 18 March 1987:

(1) Are recipients of a veteran's pension unable to obtain repeat prescriptions; if so, why.

(2) Are these pensioners required to visit their medical practitioner each time they require more of a prescribed medication.

(3) Is it cost effective to have these pensioners visit their medical practitioners to obtain a single issue prescription.

Mr Holding —The Minister for Veterans' Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) No. Repeat prescriptions are available to Veteran beneficiaries for individual drug items where specified on either the National Health Scheme Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits or the supplementary Repatriation Schedule of Benefits. For Repatriation beneficiaries in receipt of treatment as a result of war-caused disabilities, the initial quantity of drugs provided and the number of repeats may be extended beyond that specified in the drug schedules with the prior approval of the Department.

(2) Yes. Treatment of entitled beneficiaries is provided through Local Medical Officer (LMO) Scheme arrangements. The provision of drugs to Veterans is provided in accordance with a patient's clinical needs as judged by an LMO. Under State Law the majority of drugs provided to Veteran beneficiaries must be supplied on the prescription of a medical practitioner.

(3) Yes. For medical treatment to be cost-effective, patients undergoing drug treatment should be carefully monitored to ensure satisfactory therapeutic benefit. Drug quantities should be related to clinical need, with supplies limited to treatment of acute episodes of illness.