During the COVID-19 health emergency, people living with HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are understandably concerned about access to their medications.

Please reassure patients that there is enough medication for everyone. However, if a large amount of regulation 49 prescriptions continue to be written, which were previously referred to as regulation 24 and are those prescriptions that can be written so that the quantities for the original and repeats are supplied at the same time, this will increase the potential for shortages or supply chain disruptions to occur. It is important to continue advising patients to keep one month’s supply at home and to ensure prescriptions are refilled two to four weeks in advance.

The Australian Government has indicated that widespread, national shortages on medicines are not expected in Australia over the next six months. The TGA publishes medication shortages in Australia and currently there are no expected national shortages on HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C medications.

Local distribution channels may experience delays due to increased demand and for this reason dispensing restrictions have been implemented to ensure equitable access to medications. More information and the complete list of medications with dispensing limits can be found on the TGA website

If patients are concerned about attending the pharmacy in person, encourage them to talk to their pharmacy about delivery options.