Qld passes digital scripts arrangements


Queensland is the latest state to allow the prescribing of PBS medicines through a digital image

Under the special arrangement, which begins Monday 18 May, prescribers can provide a digital image or copy of a person’s prescription following a telehealth consultation to the patient’s pharmacy of choice via fax, email or text message.

The announcement by Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles brings Queensland in line with other states and territories around when it comes to digital image prescribing, aligning with the Commonwealth arrangements announced in March 2020.

PSA Queensland Branch Manager Chris Campbell welcomed the changes.

“This announcement will greatly decrease workload for pharmacists who will no longer be required to manually reconcile paper prescriptions,” he said.

“The process for pharmacies to receive a patients prescription from the prescriber will now be a lot quicker and provides Queenslanders with more options to reduce the need to leave their home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This also reduces unnecessary red tape on both medical practices and pharmacists and allows the focus to remain on our patients who need pharmacist services now more than ever,” said Mr Campbell.

“It is important Queenslanders continue to receive timely healthcare from their regular pharmacist during the COVID-19 pandemic and I congratulate the Queensland government on making this necessary change.”

Pharmacy Guild Queensland branch president Trent Twomey said the amendments were a win for both community pharmacy and Queenslanders.

“Updating Queensland’s legislation to match the Commonwealth’s continued dispensing arrangements is a critical step forward so community pharmacies can better focus on supporting Queenslanders,” he said.

“The regulation changes have removed a potential community health barrier, where post-telehealth paper scripts were often taking days to reach pharmacists through the postal system.

“Patients can now have their prescription from prescribers to pharmacies sped up by modern technology as the old-school fax and follow up is replaced by digital scripts. Digital images of prescriptions can be sent to dispense both PBS and private prescriptions. This applies to prescriptions sent by all prescribers.”

Digital image prescriptions will remain in place until the end of September 2020. Paper prescriptions will continue to be available during this period.

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