People in ACT, NSW and VIC affected by bushfires can now access PBS medicines without prescription.

Friday 10 January 2010 – From today, ACT residents affected by the bushfire crisis will join Victorian and NSW residents in being able to access a standard PBS or manufacturers’ pack quantity of their Prescription Only Medicines (Schedule 4) without a prescription, following the announcement of a public health emergency order.

It is really positive to see that governments in these areas recognise the difficulties facing people affected by bushfires in accessing an uninterrupted supply of their medicines.

This measure will ensure people most affected by the tragedy will not have to shoulder the additional burden of worrying about access to their life saving medicines.

Australia is facing an extraordinary bushfire crisis that is impacting communities, volunteers, firefighters, emergency services, as well as our unique environment and wildlife. Conditions are predicted to worsen across the country as the unprecedented heatwave is exacerbated by the prolonged drought.

As an industry, we are grieving for those who have lost their lives or their loved ones or have suffered injury, and those whose properties and habitats have been destroyed.

We would like to recognise and give thanks to the front-line responders and volunteers who have, in many cases, endured great personal sacrifice to fight these fires and assist their communities.

Bushfire recovery will be an ongoing challenge for Australia over the coming months and years. We are committed to supporting efforts to rebuild and to ensuring that the medicines supply chain remains intact and agile in times of crisis.

In addition, our members are providing other assistance including: providing replacement medicines at a pharmacy and individual level, as well as donations of personal care products, prescription and non-prescription medicines, breathing apparatus and other medical supplies, financial donations to recovery agencies, matching staff donations globally and supporting volunteer employees and those affected by the fires.

Members are in close contact with the ACT, NSW and VIC state health coordination centres to provide assistance at a state level – including hospitals and will continue to do so as these devastated communities respond and prepare to rebuild.

We hope everyone stays safe.  Should you wish to, please consider donating to:
The Red Cross

NSW Rural Fire Service

Victorian Country Fire Authority


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Further enquiries:

Natalie Wimmer,
Media and Communications Manager,
Medicines Australia