News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Australians affected by bushfires now able to access medicines in an emergency at PBS prices

Health Industry Hub | January 13, 2020 |
[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

A temporary expansion of PBS Continued Dispensing to cover nearly all PBS medicines will mean Australians affected by the bushfire crisis will be able to access their vital medicines at regular PBS prices if they find themselves without a prescription, following a move strongly welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Under the temporary change announced by Health Minister Hon Greg Hunt, from Monday 13 January 2020, pharmacists will be able to offer standard quantities of ongoing PBS medicines for the standard co-payment– being $6.60 for concession card holders, and up to a maximum of $41.00 for general patients – where PBS medicines are supplied without a prescription in an emergency situation.

Prior to this announcement, the PBS Continued Dispensing initiative only applied to PBS-listed oral contraceptives and cholesterol lowering medicines.  This meant consumers were unable to access PBS subsidies when pharmacists supplied most medicines under emergency supply provisions. This resulted in patients suffering significant surprise out-of-pocket costs when accessing medicines in an emergency.

Natalie Thorton was evacuated from Eden to Merimbula with her husband and children. The last matter on her mind was remembering to take any prescription medicines with her. Mrs Thorton said “an emergency evacuation from an out of control bushfire was so traumatic, being able to walk in to the pharmacy and get the medicines my family required in a caring and supportive environment was one less thing that I had to worry about”.

Register FREE to receive the latest news, innovations and insights from Health Industry Hub; the only one-stop-hub connecting Australia’s Pharma, MedTech and Biotech industry professionals and its key stakeholders.

In welcoming the move, PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said “The last thing people need in the middle of this crisis is to find the money to pay for their medicines which would have otherwise been subsidised. This provision will make a huge different to unfair and unexpected out-of-pocket medicine expenses for people who are displaced by fires.”

“PSA’s existing Guidelines for the continued dispensing of eligible prescribed medicines by pharmacists provide clear information to pharmacists on how to appropriately supply of medicines in these situations. I am confident pharmacists will adhere to these requirements when supplying PBS medicines under this temporary expansion.” Associate Professor Freeman noted.

“PSA will continue to advocate for a long term solution on behalf of all Australians. We need nationally consistent emergency supply rules for medicines which ensure patients get the medicines they urgently need at the price they know and can afford” said Associate Professor Freeman.

The expanded PBS Continued Dispensing provisions takes effect from Monday 13 January 2020 and expires on 31 March 2020.

PSA will communicate this temporary change to pharmacists in addition to information published on the Department of Health website via .

You may also like New Aussie resource to enhance patient understanding of out-of-pocket medical costs

About the author

About the author

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam luctus finibus scelerisque. Nunc bibendum ipsum sed augue fringilla fringilla. Nullam at consectetur leo. Praesent viverra rutrum porta. Quisque vitae mi vel purus vulputate tincidunt. Class aptent taciti sociosqu ad litora torquent per conubia nostra, per inceptos himenaeos. Suspendisse et mi quis nisi rhoncus feugiat at ac tellus. Sed aliquam sodales nulla ac auctor. Sed pretium lobortis purus accumsan ullamcorper. Phasellus sodales vel odio in lobortis. Duis maximus sagittis bibendum. Interdum et malesuada fames ac ante ipsum primis in faucibus. Nunc dictum tincidunt ipsum in vestibulum. Donec ut sem consectetur, aliquam quam vitae, pharetra orci. Nam egestas non velit eu rhoncus. Duis congue neque non lacus tincidunt porta. Vestibulum ultricies pulvinar sem, molestie congue dui aliquet non.
  • Ut imperdiet leo id lorem fermentum consectetur.
  • Ut vitae orci et dui varius tincidunt.
  • Ut id magna non libero vestibulum pharetra ac faucibus nulla.
Aliquam erat volutpat. Vestibulum vitae varius diam. Nulla eget congue ante. Nunc ullamcorper sagittis augue vel dictum. Mauris finibus nibh ut pulvinar auctor. Vestibulum ut faucibus nisi. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Quisque porta tortor ac justo malesuada elementum. Nulla tellus ante, cursus nec ex sit amet, suscipit bibendum arcu. Duis posuere orci dui, et mollis enim dictum at. Sed ullamcorper, sapien ut vulputate viverra, sem purus porttitor tellus, nec mattis mauris ligula sed risus. Nulla sagittis id ipsum eu mattis. Link to full profile

Human Resources

Human Resource Management - MSD revealed as finalist in Australian HR Awards

MSD revealed as finalist in Australian HR Awards

Health Industry Hub | July 13, 2020 |

The Australian HR Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements of the country’s top Human Resources leaders, companies and teams. MSD reveals […]


News & Trends - Medical Technology

MedTech News - Radiologists report a significant drop in diagnostic imaging services during COVID-19

Radiologists report a significant drop in diagnostic imaging during COVID-19

Health Industry Hub | July 13, 2020 |

MedTech News: Clinical radiologists are concerned that patients are delaying their required imaging procedures and encourage people to continue their […]



Medical Pharma Biotech MedTech - First-of-its-kind liver cancer research

First-of-its-kind liver cancer research

Health Industry Hub | July 13, 2020 |

Medical News: Primary liver cancer patients will benefit from a new research project in Western Australia that will apply the […]


News & Trends - Biotechnology

Biotech News - Australian researchers' cancer vaccine shows early promise

Australian researchers’ cancer vaccine shows early promise

Health Industry Hub | July 13, 2020 |

Biotech News: Mater University of Queensland Researchers have achieved publication in the highly-ranked journal, Clinical and Translational Immunology detailing their […]