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The Victorian, NSW and ACT governments has initiated a public health emergency order to ensure people affected by bushfires can access essential medicines without prescription.

Under the order Victorian, NSW and ACT pharmacists will be able to supply people affected by the bushfires with standard PBS quantities and smallest standard pack sizes of non-PBS medicines without a prescription where a pharmacist is satisfied there is an immediate therapeutic need and obtaining a prescription is impractical. In most cases, this represents a months’ supply of that medicine.

“This announcement means people separated from their prescription medicines or prescriptions will be able to access their regular medicines needed for managing chronic health conditions, such as blood pressure, depression, diabetes, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD),” Pharmaceutical Society of Australia National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman.