Changed medicine regulatory requirements for health practitioners during COVID-19 pandemic

To facilitate the supply of medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic and to reduce regulatory burden on prescribers and pharmacists the following public health emergency orders (PHEO) have come into effect. For further information about the public health emergency orders, prescribers and pharmacists should read the advice documents and gazette notices. 

Emergency supply of medicines without a prescription

PHEO #2 - Public health emergency order (amended Gazette No. S 133 Tuesday 23 March 2021, Page 1 (PDF)) for emergency supply without a prescription to people affected by COVID-19 until midnight 27 September 2021 unless revoked earlier. The Order PHEO #2 is the extension of the original Order issued on 26 March 2020 (Gazette No. S 158) and again on 10 September 2020 (General Gazette Number G36).

Pharmacist supply on a digital image of an original paper prescription

PHEO #4 - Public health emergency order (amended Gazette No. S 133 Tuesday 23 March 2021,  Pages 2-3 (PDF)) for supply on a digital image of an original paper prescription transmitted by the prescriber until midnight 27 September 2021 unless revoked earlier. This is the extension of the original Order issued on 11 May 2020 (Gazette No. S 229) and again on 10 September 2020 (Gazette No. G36). 

Covid-19 Vaccine – Authorisation - Classes of Workforce

PHEO #8 – Public Health Emergency Order: Authorisation for preparation and administration – COVID-19 VACCINE (Gazette No. S 80 Sunday 21 February 2021) pp.7-11 – to authorise classes of persons to obtain, possess, and use (including to administer) any SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) which is a Schedule 4 Poison and any Schedule 3 Poison necessary for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 VACCINE under the conditions outlined in the Order until 20 August 2021 (inclusive) unless revoked earlier.

PHEO #9 – Public Health Emergency Order: Authorisation for administration – COVID-19 VACCINE (students) (Gazette No. S 80 Sunday 21 February 2021) pp.12-14 – to authorise classes of persons to obtain, possess and use (including to administer) any SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) under the conditions outlined in the Order until 20 August 2021 (inclusive) unless revoked earlier.

Covid-19 Vaccine – Authorisation - Distributors 

PHEO #10 – Public Health Emergency Order: Authorisation for distribution – COVID-19 VACCINE (Gazette No. S 80 Sunday 21 February 2021) p.15 – to authorise classes of persons to obtain and distribute SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) which is a Schedule 4 Poison and any Schedule 3 Poison necessary for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 VACCINE under the conditions outlined in the Order until 20 August 2021 (inclusive) unless revoked earlier. 

PHEO #12 – Public Health Emergency Order: Authorisation – COVID-19 VACCINE (Department of Defence) (Gazette No. S 118 Saturday 13 March 2021) to authorise Department of Defence to obtain, possess or supply SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) which is a Schedule 4 Poison and any Schedule 3 Poison necessary for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 VACCINE in accordance with the conditions outlined in this Order until 12 September 2021 (inclusive) unless revoked earlier.

Covid-19 Vaccine – Authorisation - Aspen Medical User 

PHEO #11 – Public Health Emergency Order: Authorisation – COVID-19 VACCINE (Aspen Medical) (Gazette No. S 80 Sunday 21 February 2021) pp.16-17 – to authorise Aspen Medical to obtain and possess SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) VACCINE approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (COVID-19 VACCINE) which is a Schedule 4 Poison and any Schedule 3 Poison necessary for the treatment of anaphylactic reactions to the COVID-19 VACCINE in accordance with the conditions outlined in this Order until 20 August 2021 (inclusive) unless revoked earlier.

Influenza Vaccine – Authorisation - Ambulance Victoria Staff Vaccination

PHEO #13 - Public health emergency order (Gazette No. S 334 Friday 25 June 2021) to authorise registered paramedics employed by Ambulance Victoria who have successfully completed a program of study approved by the Chief Health Officer to administer the 2021 influenza vaccine to Ambulance Victoria operational staff members until midnight 1 October 2021, unless earlier revoked.

Downloads

Advice for prescribers - COVID-19

Flyer for prescribers - Digital Images of Prescriptions

Advice to pharmacists - COVID-19

Flyer for pharmacists - Digital Images of Prescriptions

Limits on dispensing and sales of prescription and over-the-counter medicines – TGA

Treating a drug-dependent person -  key requirements in Victoria

Using SafeScript – most commonly asked questions for prescribers and pharmacists

Medicines and poisons phoneline inactive

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is working around the clock with health services, the Commonwealth and international agencies to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and to keep the Victorian community safe.

The Medicines and Poisons Branch (MPR) is contributing to the DHHS response. To enable this the MPR phoneline will not be operating for the immediate term.

If you have issues registering with SafeScript or logging in SafeScript, please contact SafeScript technical support on 1800 723 379.

If your query relates to drugs and poisons legislative controls in Victoria, please refer to the Licences and permits to possess (& possibly supply) scheduled substances page. Online forms are available at this location.

If your query relates to an urgent matter for a licence or permit application for an entity to purchase medicines or if you are reporting concerns about possible contraventions of drugs and poisons legislation please email dpcs@dhhs.vic.gov.au. We will respond to your query earliest convenience.

Schedule 8 permits and correspondence

From Monday 23 March 2020, Schedule 8 permits and correspondence will not be faxed to medical clinics. Medical practitioners and nurse practitioners are able to access their Schedule 8 permits and correspondence relating to a Schedule 8 permit application via SafeScript.

GP Clinical Advisory Service

The GP Clinical Advisory Service is a peer to peer service helping Victorian GPs support patients with high-risk prescription medication concerns and complex needs.