#269 Update on the Public Health Emergency Orders related to supply of medicines

3 March 2021

The Victorian Department of Health recently contacted AMA Victoria about three existing Public Health Emergency Orders that are set to expire on 27 March 2021. They were put in place to facilitate telehealth and reduce regulatory burden:

A decision is yet to be made regarding PHEO #2 and PHEO #4 as both orders are closely tied to Commonwealth funding. The department have been engaging with the Commonwealth about these provisions and whether the special funding arrangements will continue to apply. The department anticipates a decision being made by mid-March, so that doctors can be informed as soon as possible before the orders expire.

The department has made the decision to allow PHEO #6 (Schedule 8 permit requirements) to lapse after 27 March. This means that Schedule 8 permit requirements for non-drug dependent patients will resume on 28 March 2021. However, the permit reductions made mandatory under SafeScript use are still in place. The following permit exemptions apply from 28 March 2021 onwards.

Schedule 8 permit exemptions for non-drug dependent patients – S8 permits are no longer required if the patient is non-drug dependent and one of the below scenarios is applicable (and the prescriber checks SafeScript prior to prescribing):

Opioid analgesics

Psychostimulants

Palliative care

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