DHHS has developed guidance flyers for COVID-19 Digital Image prescribing and dispensing in Victoria under the Primary Health Emergency Order #4.
These flyers clarify which prescriptions are required to be posted/delivered to the pharmacy after a digital image has been sent.
The guidance confirms that Schedule 8 and Schedule 4 drugs of dependence are not to be dispensed from digital image prescriptions. The Schedule 4 drugs of dependence includes all S4 benzodiazepines, phentermine and anabolic steroids.
The only acceptable way for these items to be dispensed and supplied is on a signed paper prescription, or on the verbal instructions of the prescriber, who must then provide the paper prescription to the pharmacy ‘as soon as practicable’.
- The use of a faxed script in this situation is useful for confirmation but is not by itself the trigger for dispensing. If a fax is received without prior verbal instruction the pharmacist would need to contact the prescriber for verbal instructions and confirmation that the paper script will be sent.
Tramadol, quetiapine, z-drugs, pregabalin, codeine in compound analgesics, are not S4 drugs of dependence in Victoria and can be dispensed (and claimed) from the digital image. The prescriber is required to retain the paper prescription for 2 years.
The use of SafeScript is now mandatory and is in place to support safer supply of high-risk monitored medications in Victoria (S8s, benzodiazepines, z-drugs, quetiapine, codeine).