The impact of the devastating Queensland and NSW floods on pharmacies has been encapsulated by electronic prescription data
Figures provided by Fred show the drop in the level of eRx daily dispenses as a result of the floods.
The figures reveal that on Tuesday 28 March the numbers of scripts dipped as Cyclone Debbie hit northern Queensland.
By Thursday 30 March when heavy rains and flooding were being experienced across south east Queensland and into northern NSW there was a much more dramatic drop in prescriptions (a 40% drop compared with the usual Thursday average of 180,000 dispenses)
On Friday 31 and over the weekend, those pharmacies able to dispense were carrying an extra load compared to usual with people catching up on their scripts.
Meanwhile, the PBS has posted advice for approved pharmacists supplying medicines to patients in areas affected by Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding.
This advice relates to matters such as medicines subject to the 4/20 day PBS rule.
In cases where the patient may have lost medication due to Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding, the pharmacist may provide a subsequent supply, but must endorse the prescription with the words ‘immediate supply necessary’ and sign the PBS prescription.
It also includes advice for pharmacists seeking to temporarily relocate their approved pharmacy due to damage from Ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie and subsequent flooding, medicine distribution arrangements, advice for prescribing authority required PBS medicines and a range of other matters.
These arrangements have immediate effect and apply until at least 30 April 2017.