Restrictions easing pressure on heart meds stock: Foundation


heart made out of pills

The Heart Foundation has moved to reassure patients that their heart medicines are in stock and they do not need to worry or stockpile medications

It told the general public that there is no need to have more than their normal one month supply on hand.

Cardiac medicines are available at most pharmacies, despite the increase in demand over the past few weeks, it said, highlighting to Australians that the Federal Government has announced restrictions limiting the purchase of some prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The Heart Foundation’s General Manager, Heart Health and Research, Bill Stavreski, said there were no major shortages of medications that are used to treat cardiovascular disease.

He also urged people with heart disease to consider using the Federal Government’s Home Medicines Delivery Service, open to those who are isolating themselves on the advice of their doctor and for vulnerable groups including people with heart disease.

“Several community pharmacies have reported pressure on some brands of cardiac medication as some suppliers have temporarily run low on stock, but pharmaceutical companies are continuing to manufacture these drugs,” Mr Stavreski said.

“The government’s restrictions on medications are easing the pressure. 

“It is important that people with heart disease continue to take their medications unless they have specific instructions from their doctor to change something. Generally, your regular monthly supply is all you need to have at home.”

Cardiac medicines on the restricted list include:

  • anti-anginal medication which is used for chest pain associated with angina; 
  • anti-arrhythmics, used for an irregular heartbeat;
  • anti-coagulants including warfarin, and antiplatelets such as aspirin, which are used to prevent blood clots and prevent heart attacks; 
  • blood pressure medicines such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers; 
  • and diuretics which help rid the body of excess fluid, often used to treat heart failure or to lower blood pressure.

Mr Stavreski directed people who thought they might be eligible for the Home Medicines Delivery Service could call their local pharmacist to discuss arrangements. 

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