The New South Wales Government has announced an extension of the special authority for emergency supply of medicines without a prescription, which it introduced for the bush fire crisis.
Patients will still be able to receive a maximum PBS quantity or pack size until September 30, 2020 without a prescription, where the pharmacist is satisfied there is immediate need.
Before the special provision was introduced patients would normally only be able to receive a three-day emergency supply.
The medicine must have been previously prescribed and be for the continuation of current essential treatment where it is impractical to obtain a prescription.
The move has been welcomed by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).
PSA NSW President Professor Peter Carroll congratulated the NSW Government for extending the emergency supply rules.
"PSA fully supports and thanks the NSW Government for this very sensible approach which will reduce the concerns of those in the community who may find it hard to access medicines in this challenging environment," he said.
"This will enable patients to still have ongoing access to their regular medicines in the event that they are not able to see their doctor for a prescription or must self-isolate.
"We are hearing from patients that their GPs are overwhelmed and can be difficult to get an appointment. This flexible approach to health care will ensure pharmacists can continue to support the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As the peak national body for pharmacists, PSA has called for and worked with the NSW Government to allow the continuation of emergency dispensing that was put in place during the recent bushfire crisis to ensure patients and members of the community continue to gain access to much needed medicines."
One month limits still apply to the dispensing of certain medications.