Communications and advocacy update: 20 October

20 October 2022

Here’s an update on a few of the issues AMA Victoria is working on for members, including:

Public health emergency order (PHEO#22) - Pharmacist emergency supply to patients impacted by floods

Public health emergency order (PHEO#22) has been issued by the Secretary of the Victorian Department of Health due to serious risk to public health resulting from floods in Victoria. PHEO#22 authorises a registered pharmacist to supply a Schedule 4 medicine to a patient for continued treatment without a prescription subject to the following conditions:

The quantity of the medicine supplied must not exceed:

A pharmacist is required to make a record that supply was made under PHEO#22.

Alternative options

Medical practitioners and other suitably registered health practitioners may issue verbal instructions to a pharmacist to supply a Schedule 4 or a Schedule 8 medicine if, in the opinion of the practitioner, an emergency exists (Regulation 25 of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017). The prescriber who issues verbal instructions must, as soon as practicable, send written confirmation (most commonly in the form of a prescription) to the pharmacist.

Updated advice: MBS telehealth item numbers

Please see below advice from the Victorian Department of Health’s Primary and Community Health Team pertaining to MBS telehealth items numbers:

The determination which puts the exemption in place has been registered on the Federal Register of Legislation and is available at:

For clarity, the level C telehealth item for assessment and consideration of COVID-19 antivirals is excluded from the 1 in 12 rule. That is, there is no requirement for a pre-existing relationship and this item is unaffected by any change in state and territory Public Health Orders.

In relation to broader telehealth, it is important to note that the established relationship requirement still does not apply to:

Update: Evusheld™ criteria and PBS oral antiviral updates

Please find the latest advice from the Victorian Department of Health’s COVID+ Pathways Program Team:

Evusheld™ update – expanded criteria

A limited supply of tixagevimab and cilgavimab (EvusheldTM) is available in Victoria for use in high-risk people for pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 until 31 December 2022, for both first and second doses. 

As part of this expansion, the Evusheld FAQ, Community Prescriber Guide and Request to Access Forms have been updated. This updated information and these documents can be found here:

PBS oral antiviral treatment expanded criteria

The PBAC has recommended the following PBS and Prescriber’s Bag updates, expected to come into effect on November 1 2022. These include;

Opportunity to share feedback with the TAC

The TAC has launched an online survey to hear providers’ views on working with them and providing services to TAC clients.

The survey is now open to any TAC provider who has delivered treatment or services to a TAC client in the last 12 months.

It takes about 15 minutes to complete and will help shape future changes to support providers and TAC clients. Please note the survey closes on 31 October 2022.

To get started, access the survey here

Research study on fitness to drive assessments

A research team at the University of the Sunshine Coast Road Safety Research Collaboration is conducting a research study to explore General Practitioners’ perspectives, opinions and attitudes towards assessing driving capacity in older adults, with a particular emphasis on the assessment of cognitive function and how it relates to driving.  

The findings from this study will inform the design of future research projects aiming to improve current fitness to drive assessment procedures as well as identify older adults who are at increased risk for motor vehicle collisions and require further assessment.  

Further information can be found here.

AMA Victoria Preferred Suppliers