Continued Dispensing (Emergency Measure) Arrangements

The Department of Health and Aged Care has advised that Continued Dispensing (Emergency Measure) arrangements have been implemented, effective immediately, until 1 March 2024 in response to the flooding disaster in Far North Queensland.

The Emergency Measure will allow pharmacists across Australia to supply medicines as a Continued Dispensing for the entire PBS General Schedule. This does not include medicines supplied under Section 100 of the National Health Act 1953, supplies made under ‘prescriber bag’ arrangements, or medicines in ‘supply only’ status. 

The Guild understands that it is highly likely dispense software vendors will be unable to facilitate pharmacy dispensing and claiming for the entire General Schedule of Continued Dispensing at short notice.

The Department of Health and Aged Care has advised pharmacists to place claiming for Continued Dispensing through PBS Online ‘on hold’ until it can be transmitted by dispense software, something that may not happen until 1 February 2024. 

This comes with obvious financial risk and administrative burden placed on the pharmacy, we have raised this point with the Department. 

The Guild has long advocated to the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for the need for Continued Dispensing to apply to all PBS medicines, and unfortunately, they have not heeded our recommendations to date. 

By their very nature Emergency Measures tend to be rushed. The Guild will continue to update you as more information comes to hand. We will continue to advocate for these arrangements to be made permanent and sympathize with those fellow Australian’s doing it tough right now due to recent disaster events.

For more information visit: QLD - The Pharmacy Guild of Australia