Call on Government to continue access to medicines for all

While the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch, congratulates the Commonwealth and Queensland Government’s foresight to ensure all Queenslanders have access to healthcare essentials throughout Covid-19, the have called for the measures to continue.

Early in the pandemic, adjustments by the Queensland Government had been made to the Communicable Diseases and Pharmacist Vaccination Programs, which allowed pharmacists to administer vaccinations and prescribe certain medicines to patients if a prescriber was unavailable.

Reportedly, in October 2020, the Federal Government extended the Continued Dispensing – Emergency Measures arrangements until 31 March 2021. This allowed for patients with chronic conditions to obtain their usual medicines at PBS prices.

According to Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland Branch President, Professor Trent Twomey, these changes have made a positive difference, particularly to those in regional areas who may not have access to a doctor close to home.

He adds, therefore, that make these arrangements permanent would provide greater access to critical health care services for those residents.

“The proactive adjustments have eased vaccine and medication demands on hospitals and general practices, especially in regional Queensland,” says Professor Twomey.

“However, with some of these services due to expire at the end of March, we need to move now to make these changes permanent and ensure Queenslanders can continue to have access to potentially life-saving medicines.”

Professor Twomey says that the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland branch are “calling on the Federal Government to show their on-going commitment to Queenslanders and primary healthcare by permanently implementing continued dispensing”.

He adds by doing so, this will ensure that all patients, regardless of their location, will have continued access to vital medicines and healthcare.

“With 97% of consumers living within 2.5km of their local community pharmacy, and 65% in regional areas, it makes sense for Queenslanders to be supported with safe and convenient access to key primary healthcare services,” underscores Professor Twomey.