Changes have been made to the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 (MPTG Regulation) to support pharmacists and prescribers with record keeping for faxed prescriptions.
On 20 June 2020, sections 31A and 120A were added to the MPTG Regulation to exempt the requirement to send or receive the original of a faxed prescription where the supply is made for a medicine in accordance with a Commonwealth special arrangement that requires prescribers to retain the original.
An example is the recent Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) interim arrangements for telehealth consultations during COVID-19.
This regulatory change aligns the ACT record keeping requirements for faxed prescriptions with the Commonwealth PBS interim arrangement for telehealth consultations.
This means that prescribers do not need to send the original of a faxed prescription to a pharmacist where it is prescribed during a telehealth consultation while the PBS special arrangements are in place. Pharmacists are also not obligated to receive the original in these circumstances.
Pharmacists are required to confirm whether the faxed prescription was written as part of a telehealth consultation in order to meet the ACT record keeping requirements and should make a record of this.
Verbal advice from the prescriber or patient is considered sufficient for this purpose. Prescribers can also confirm this in writing on the faxed prescription.
Furthermore, sections 31 and 120 of the MPTG Regulation were also updated to change the ordinary faxed prescription record keeping requirements as follows:
- the timeframe within which a prescriber must send the original of a faxed prescription to a pharmacist has been changed from 24 hours to 7 days.
- the timeframe within which a pharmacist must receive the original of a faxed or verbal prescription before notifying the Chief Health Officer about non-receipt of the original prescription has been changed from 7 days to 14 days.
This means the ordinary record keeping requirements for faxed prescriptions have been extended for pharmacists and prescribers. These changes will allow greater flexibility for pharmacists and prescribers when issuing or dispensing faxed prescriptions during and after COVID-19.
Further information on telehealth prescribing including updated FAQs can be accessed here.
The MPTG Regulation can be found on the ACT Legislation Register.