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Changes to prescription repeats



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T h e P H A R M A C Y G U I L D o f A U S T R A L I A

N A T I O N A L S E C R E T A R I A T

CHANGES TO PRESCRIPTION REPEATS

From Tuesday 1 November 1994, the Government has changed the repeat arrangements for

prescription medicines. The main effect on patients is that, where an item with five repeats

or more has been prescribed, generally speaking pharmacists will be required to allow 20

days to elapse between the dispensing of each repeat where the items are supplied under the

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Colin Johns, National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, said that the primary

reason for the change was to prevent the hoarding of medication. “As health professionals,

pharmacists are concerned when they see patients hoarding medicine, firstly because it may

lose its effectiveness, secondly because instructions on labels may become outdated, and

thirdly because it is simply dangerous to store unnecessary medicines in the house.”

“Under the new arrangements, quantities prescribed for ongoing medical conditions should

last a month. Your pharmacist can only re-supply these products after 20 days. For other

products, the re-supply period is four days, “ Mr Johns said.

He said that pharmacists are there to assist patients to use medicines wisely. Accordingly,

pharmacists will be able to waive the 20 day rule if they are satisfied the individual

circumstances warrant that. Mr Johns said that patients who have a genuine need can discuss

the matter with their pharmacist who may be able to re-supply medication sooner.

28 October 1994

Contact: Colin Johns 018 627 856

Stephen Greenwood, Executive Director 06 281 0911

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