New regulations signed today
Minister for Health Simon Harris has today signed two statutory instruments to relieve some of the pressures on our GPs, pharmacists and patients in accessing prescriptions.
The Minister signed the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 allowing for the electronic transfer of prescriptions to a pharmacy via an approved electronic system: the HSE's Healthmail system.
In addition, the maximum period of validity of a prescription is increased from 6 months to 9 months as of the date specified on the prescription.
Some temporary changes to the way in which prescriptions can be repeated are also being introduced to enable pharmacists to ensure the continuity of care of patients without necessarily requiring a new prescription.
Speaking today, Minister Harris said: "We are asking people to stay home. We know many people will still require access to important medicines and that is why we are introducing these measures. However, I also want to remind patients and the general public not to seek supplies of medicines over and above their normal requirements. Doing so will hamper the supply of medicines for others.
"The changes we will make today will relieve the pressure on GPs and pharmacists. Crucially, it will reduce the need for people to visit their GP or pharmacy during this pandemic.
"I want to thank our healthcare staff, my Department and the HSE for their work on this matter. This is a significant step and will help us in our efforts to slow the spread of this virus."