Access to prescription medications during COVID-19 emergency

26 March 2020

If you are running short on prescription medications, you will be able to access additional supply under special arrangements. The temporary arrangements have been introduced in response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Pills of a variety of shapes and sizes in and around a weekly pill container

Pharmacists may now dispense prescription medications, subject to certain conditions:

  • the pharmacist agrees the person is in immediate need of the medication for the continuation of treatment
  • that the medication has been prescribed to the patient previously
  • that it is not feasible for the patient to obtain a repeat prescription from a GP or other authorised health practitioner.

Attend your regular pharmacy and bring proof of prior use of the medication such as a recent script or empty packet. You must also have valid ID and a Medicare Card.

The arrangements cover all prescription medicines except controlled drugs

There will be limits on the amount available – stockpiling will not be allowed. The new arrangements are in place to make sure that people have access to their usual medications and so their health is supported during this time.

This will be in place until 31 May 2020 and may be extended.

For more information read the Advice for patient's medicine supply (PDF 124KB).