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Media releases

The Hon Darren Chester MP
Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel

MEDIA RELEASE

15 January 2020

Access to emergency medications for bushfire affected veterans

Temporary emergency measures made to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) ensuring those in bushfire affected communities have access to the medicines they need, includes medicines listed on the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).

Minister for Veterans and Defence Personnel Darren Chester confirmed today that these emergency arrangements are available to clients of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to ensure those affected by bushfires have access to their medications.

“Many Australians are facing challenging circumstances and these changes will support veterans who may have lost their valid prescription or are unable to visit their local GP due to the impacts of the bushfires,” Mr Chester said.

“Continued Dispensing arrangements will also include some RPBS medicines that are supplied directly through community pharmacies, and will allow veterans to obtain their usual RPBS medicines without a prescription from their doctor, and for the usual cost of RPBS medication.”

These temporary changes to Continued Dispensing arrangements will allow pharmacists to give patients up to one month’s supply of the RPBS listed medicine, without a script, once in a 12 month period depending on which state or territory they live in. These changes will be in effect until 31 March 2020.

“I thank all those community pharmacies who have been an essential support for all Australians, including our veterans and their families, during this tough time,” Mr Chester said.

Further information on these changes is available on the PBS website at www.PBS.gov.au.

ENDS

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rachel Tharratt: 02 6277 7820
DVA Media: 02 6289 6466

Office of the Hon Darren Chester, Canberra ACT

Open Arms — Veterans and Families Counselling provides support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Free and confidential help is available 24/7. Phone 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit www.OpenArms.gov.au