60 day prescriptions

The policy will come into effect from September 1, 2023 (Unsplash).

The federal government has introduced a 60-day prescribing policy, allowing Australians, including those in Sunbury and Macedon Ranges, to buy two months worth of medicine for the price of a single prescription.

In an announcement on April 28, McEwan MP Rob Mitchell said he welcomed the decision, with the policy coming into effect from September 1, 2023, with a 12 month roll out period.

“At least six million Australians will halve their medicine costs and have to make less visits to their GP’s with 60 day prescribing,” Mr Mitchell said.

“This [will] ease the cost of living… [with] nearly a million Australians… every year… forced to delay or go without medicine… simply because they cannot afford it.”

The policy was recommended by clinical experts at the Independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in 2018, and will allow doctors the option to prescribe a two months supply of medicine for stable, on-going conditions to Medicare card holders.

These patients will save up to $180 a year and concession card holders will save up to $43.80 per year per medicine.

The policy will have a staged and phased implementation, with 325 medicines currently on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to begin the 60-day prescription from September 1.

Doctors will be able to make the individual decision on whether a 30 day or 60 day prescribing is appropriate based on their patient’s individual circumstances.

The federal government also announced it will reinvest the savings from the policy back into community pharmacies. Further details on this reinvestment will be announced in May in the federal budget.