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Revised antiviral measures welcomed by Pharmacy Guild

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s announcement that from today there will be changes to restrictions on the access to antiviral medications.

These new measures will help reduce the impact COVID-19 has on those patients who contract the virus.

Acting National President of the Guild, Nick Panayiaris, said the expanded PBS criteria for prescribing antiviral medications meant more people who needed them would be able to get the medicines prescribed for them.

“There has been some concern recently that while there are plenty of antivirals in stock, patients have been having difficulty getting access to them because of prescribing restrictions that have been in effect,”
he said.

“There have also been fears that the abundant stocks could expire before they are able to be dispensed
because of their relatively short shelf life.

“These moves announced by Health Minister Mark Butler are very sensible ones and signal further positive steps in helping to manage the pandemic.”

Mr Panayiaris said the new measures announced mean the antivirals can be prescribed to:

• Moderately to severely immunocompromised patients of at least 18 years of age
• Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander patients of at least 30 years of age and at high risk
• Patients at least 50 years of age and at high risk
• Patients at least 70 years of age

“I encourage patients prescribed the medications to check that their pharmacy has the prescribed antivirals available by contacting the pharmacy or going to where pharmacies list
their availability,” Mr Panayiaris said.

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