Most pharmacists will have been asked to dispense prescription-only medicines to patients who do not have a valid prescription. Although Pharmacy Dispensing Software (PDS) allows for the processing and supply of medicines without a valid prescription, thereby creating an ‘owing’, there is no legislation that provides for this. Pharmacists assisting their patients should familiarise themselves […]
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INSIGHT: Payroll tax clampdown on healthcare clinic operators
In recent times, there has been a strong focus by revenue authorities on tax compliance by health service providers including operators of medical, dental, optometry and other allied health clinics. Payroll tax compliance in particular has been in the spotlight. In the recent decision of Commissioner of State Revenue V The Optical Superstore Pty Ltd […]
INSIGHT: Electronic Prescriptions
Amendments to the National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Regulations 2017, published on 30 October 2019 provide for electronic prescriptions to be recognised as valid prescriptions. Electronic prescribing provides an option for prescribers and their patients to have an electronic prescription as an alternative to a paper-based prescription. The legislation includes additional form requirements for electronic PBS […]
INSIGHT: Coroner recommends new standard for in patient observations
The Coroner has recommended that the Chief Psychiatrist in Victoria formulate a directive in relation to standard protocols for conducting visual observations of patients at in-patient facilities. The recommendation comes as the result of findings at the inquest into the death of a woman who passed away whilst she was an in-patient at a private […]
INSIGHT: Striking the balance: Do the recent amendments to mandatory reporting obligations go far enough?
Despite significant resistance by key stakeholders, amendments to mandatory reporting obligations in respect of registered health practitioners treating other health practitioners for medical conditions, including mental health issues, have now been passed by the Queensland parliament. This article follows Meridian Lawyers’ earlier Health Insights article (which can be read here), wherein we discussed the Council […]
INSIGHT: Ask for help, and ask early – advice for surviving an AHPRA notification
Meridian Lawyers regularly assists health practitioners who have been the subject of notification to statutory health authorities such as AHPRA, HCCC and the OHO. Our role is to help these practitioners understand, respond to and navigate the complaints process. Unfortunately, we regularly hear clients express distress that they are the subject of complaint. Many suffer […]
INSIGHT: Steroids and hormone therapies – Off label use or misuse/abuse?
Pharmacists are expected to have a contemporary knowledge of the drugs that are subject to abuse or misuse, both generally and in their own localities. Steroids and hormone therapies are one of many groups of medications that are the subject of abuse/misuse. Many individuals source anabolic steroids illicitly from coaches, friends, teammates, gym employees, relatives […]
INSIGHT: SafeScript provides prescribers and pharmacists with real time access to the prescription history of their patients for high risk medicines.
SafeScript provides Victorian prescribers and pharmacists access to the prescription history of their patients for high-risk medicines. SafeScript information can alert the prescriber and dispenser to patients at risk of harm or overdose associated with high risk medicines, and assist with deciding whether to prescribe or dispense the high-risk medicine. SafeScript will be implemented across […]
INSIGHT: Getting it right – meeting your legal and professional obligations in advertising
New resources provided by AHPRA and National Boards aim to help health practitioners understand and comply with their legal and professional obligations under the National Law. Understanding and meeting legal obligations with regard to advertising and avoiding complaints to regulators can be a daunting task for health practitioners. The national regulator, AHPRA, has released a […]
INSIGHT: Medication Misadventure – Methotrexate: A reminder to pharmacists to exercise independent judgment about the safety of a prescribed medicine.
This article was originally published as a PDL Practice Alert. It was written by Scott Ames, Principal and PDL Professional Officers, John Guy and Gary West. A recent inquest into the death of an elderly patient in Victoria  has put a spotlight on a pharmacist’s duty to exercise independent judgement when dispensing medication. Background On 29 […]
INSIGHT: ‘SafeScript’ Roll-out: An update for practitioners on important regulatory changes from 1 July 2018
The Victorian Department of Health has confirmed that the implementation of the ‘SafeScript’ real-time prescription monitoring system will begin later this year. The initial roll-out is set to take place in the Western Victoria Primary Health Network catchment area before it is extended to the remainder of the State in 2019. ‘SafeScript’ is intended to […]