Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) and Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) are encouraging people living across the region to avoid stockpiling medicines due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Wagga Wagga pharmacist Luke Van der Rijt said new rules have been put in to place limiting pharmacies to dispense only a month's supply of prescription drugs.
"This is due an unprecedented demand on medications which is putting a strain on the wholesalers and supply chain" Mr van der Rijt said.
"While there are always isolated cases of medication being out of stock, generally there is no medicine shortage at this stage. It is more a case of the demand for medication exceeding the ability for medication to be delivered to pharmacies".
"If people overbuy what they need there could be a real risk of supply shortages, similar to what was seen with toilet paper shortages in supermarkets. However, this is not toilet paper, people's lives depend on access to medication".
Pharmacists have been told to limit the dispensing and sale of medicines to a one month's supply at the prescribed dose for prescription medicines, and one packet at a time purchase of over-thecounter products such as children's paracetamol and salbutamol.
Pharmacists have also been given the power to provide individuals with up to one month's supply of their usual medicine at PBS prices without a script from their GP under certain conditions.
"These measures have been put into place for the benefit of all Australians and ensures that everyone in our community has equal access to the medicines they need to maintain their health and wellbeing during this pandemic," Mr Van der Rijt said.
"Wholesalers need time re-stock and get their systems back to normal, which will hopefully be in a few weeks".
"The most important message I'd like everyone to hear is that if everyone does the right thing and just buys what they need when they need it, our supply chain will recover and there will be enough medicines for everyone."
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