Commencement of Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Prescriptions) Regulation 2020
Community pharmacists in NSW can now dispense a prescription for most medicines using an image of the prescription received by email or fax, rather than requiring a paper prescription.
This temporary measure will better support patients, prescribers and pharmacists during the COVID-19 response, and allow better integration of the prescription and supply of medicines with the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 response telehealth reforms.
Supply on the Image of a Prescription and additions to Appendix D
Telehealth scripts (excl. S4D and S8) when transmitted as an image do not need the original paper based prescription to be sent to the pharmacy from now until 4th April 2021.
The steps for image-based prescribing and dispensing are:
- Prescriber issues a prescription, including a physical handwritten signature
- Prescriber sends an image-based prescription to the patient’s pharmacy of choice by email or fax
- The prescriber should indicate that the original has been retained by them
Pharmacist dispenses the prescription, prints a copy and endorses it as per usual Pharmacist arranges delivery or pick up by the patient, carer or patient's agent Pharmacist keeps any repeats and all prescriptions for two years. Does NOT apply to S4D and S8 prescriptions All repeats must be supplied and held in the same pharmacy as the original supply. For a prescription issued with repeats, print the repeat authorisation form as normal and attach it to the printed copy of the image-based prescription and store them together at the pharmacy for future dispensing.
There are no changes to issuing and dispensing prescriptions for S4D and S8 medicines. A prescriber may still direct a pharmacist to dispense S8 and S4D medicines by telephone, email or fax, and the paper-based prescription must be sent to the pharmacist within 24 hours.
As a reminder, the following medicines are now included in Appendix D as prescribed restricted substances (S4D):
NSW Health Image-Based Prescriptions for Community Pharmacies Information
NSW Health Prescription Advice for Pharmacists
Department of Health - Electronic Prescribing Information