Currently there is much confusion around medicine and supply in our community and the broader country.
We wanted to provide you with credible and up to date information regarding this.
Australia has sufficient supplies of medicines and we strongly discourage stockpiling or panic buying of medicines, please only obtain the medicines you immediately need
- We have encouraged pharmacists and GPs to help manage our supply of medicines and support the Government’s purchasing limits on selected medicines;
- COVID-19 limits on dispensing and sales at pharmacies
- Limits on dispensing and sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines
- TGA cautions against over-buying medicines
- TGA response to Covid-19
- There are certain medicines that are deemed critical by the TGA and Medicines Australia. If there was no availability or if there was an interruption to treatment, this could result in significant health impacts. The other scenario we are anticipating is increased consumer demand in regards to some medicines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a list of these affected products , they are published on the TGA website, other medicines may be added over time.
Frequently asked questions
What to do if your medicine is not available at your pharmacy?
If medicines are unavailable in pharmacy:-
- Seek support from your pharmacist to phone around other pharmacists in the area.
- Notify the manufacturer who makes your medicine so they can also assist you. Their contact number will be on your medicine packet – or the pharmacist can help you locate it.
What else is the pharmaceutical industry doing to help with medicine supplies?
The pharmaceutical industry is working closely with Government to actively monitor and manage our medicine supplies to minimise the potential for shortages. There are a number of other measures we are working on that include:-
- increasing production and orders for Australia to meet our increasing demand
- sourcing products from other countries
- activating alternative manufacturing facilities
- managing logistics and freight to bring medicines into the country
How can I get my medicines if I am unable to leave the house?
The Australian Government recently announced a COVID-19 health package. Included in this package was the COVID-19 Home Medicines Service that will enable vulnerable people and people in self-isolation to order their PBS and RPBS prescriptions remotely and have their medicines home delivered at no cost to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19. Contact your local pharmacist and they will be able to advise you on this or visit: https://www.findapharmacy.com.au/home
What is the pharmaceutical industry doing to help fight COVID-19?
The pharmaceutical industry is working tirelessly in the fight against COVID19 – ensuring we can diagnose, protect and treat the community
- Our member companies here in Australian and around the world are directing all efforts and resources on the global pandemic – developing diagnostic kits, safe and effective treatments and eventually vaccines
- We have our best scientists and latest technologies working to speed up the development of safe and effective vaccines.
- We are sharing learnings from clinical trials in real time with governments and other companies to advance the development of additional therapies.
Credible and reliable resources
- Department of Health provides up to date information and resources about COVID-19 including fact sheets, guidelines and other publications
- World Health Organization (WHO): There is a section on this website that provides myth busters for the public
- Consumer Health Forum (CHF): CHF has been extremely busy on two fronts: Providing essential patient information on COVID-19 and advocating for policy change to help support patient and healthcare professionals safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. A great example of this is expanding Telehealth to be widely available so that patient care can be continued safely between patients and doctors.
Practical tips and information
- Woolworths will be providing Priority Assistance home delivery to eligible customers include seniors, people with a disability and those with compromised immunity or who are required to self-isolate.
- Government extends Telehealth MBS Item Numbers and is exploring opportunities to include specialist, allied health and mental health consultations, more information can be found here.