Extra powers and 24/7 hours for NSW pharmacists

 

Pharmacists can now give medicines without a prescription and stay open 24/7, in a move by the state government to give them extra powers as the country battles the coronavirus outbreak.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a special authority had been granted to the pharmacists in a bid to help Australians who can't access their regular GP.

"This new authority comes at a crucial time for NSW, when we are looking at keeping our entire medical ecosystem free of red tape," Mr Hazzard said.

"It gives our trusted community pharmacists the ability to dispense when people are not able to contact their GP to arrange a prescription at a time when we want everyone to stay home as much as possible."

The NSW Government has also introduced limits on oversupply of prescription and over-the-counter medicines, to stop people from panic buying on medications.

The new rules also include limits on prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Picture: Sue Graham
The new rules also include limits on prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Picture: Sue Graham

Limits include on ventolin brand salbutamol which can only be supplied when over-the-counter by the pharmacist as a single pack for a medically diagnosed lung condition.

"The NSW Government recognises the role of community pharmacists as frontline health workers supporting the community," Mr Hazzard said.

"I want to remind the community to not panic buy, not abuse staff, and be respectful of people who hold a very special place on the frontline of our fight to keep the community safe and well."

Families have also been urged to take advantage of the initiative announced earlier this year, allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to anyone over 10 years.

Originally published as Extra powers and 24/7 hours for NSW pharmacists


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