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Pharmacy

FAQs regarding medicines during COVID-19

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    Is children’s paracetamol liquid available?

    Children’s paracetamol liquid (e.g. Panadol®, Dymadon®) is available for purchase from your community pharmacy. If you are unable to find paracetamol liquid, please ask the pharmacist; they may be keeping stock behind the counter to ensure customers have a need for this medicines. You may be offered a different brand to the one you usually purchase, but the active ingredient will still be paracetamol. Check the dosing on the box to make sure you give the correct dose. Speak with the pharmacist if you are unsure.

    Is there a stock shortage of my medicine?

    At RCH, we are unable to provide information on the availability of a particular medicine in the community. This is because hospital pharmacies and community pharmacies get their medicines from different suppliers. During this time, we do know that there may be delays in transport and distribution of medicines. Contact your community pharmacy directly to obtain accurate information on the stock of medicines.

    I am unable to obtain supply of my medicine – RCH patients

    If you are an RCH patient and you are unable to obtain your medications from your community pharmacy, contact Wood Pharmacy located at the RCH. With a valid prescription, Wood Pharmacy are able to post PBS medications directly to patients free of charge as part of a government initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Contact: 9349 2315

    If you have a prescription from your RCH doctor, you can request to have this dispensed at the RCH Outpatient Pharmacy and have them posted to you at no cost.

    See below on how to contact RCH Pharmacy allowing one week for dispensing and posting.

    Can I have my medicines posted from RCH Pharmacy

    The RCH is limiting access to the hospital so we can protect you, our patients and our staff.  To assist the RCH Pharmacy is able to post medicines, that cannot be dispensed at your community pharmacy, at no cost during the COVID-19 pandemic.  See below on how to contact RCH Pharmacy to order your medicines, allowing one week for dispensing and arrival at your home.

    Families unable to pay for medicines

    We are aware that many families have found themselves in a difficult financial position as a result of the coronavirus. If you are unable to pay for your child’s medicines, please contact RCH Finance who can arrange a payment plan to meet your needs.
    Contact finance.ar@rch.org.au.

    Hand sanitiser

    Regular hand washing, using soap and running water for 20 seconds, is one of the best defences against viruses and bacteria that can make us sick.  Hand sanitisers are a suitable alternative for when you do not have access to soap and water, but they are not more effective.

    Further information available on the TGA website and the NPS Medicinewise website:

    Face masks

    The use of face masks and gloves is not recommended in Australia. If you are not trained in how to use a face mask or gloves, incorrect use may actually increase your risk of becoming infected. Masks are of benefit to people who are sick so they don’t cough on others, and health care workers who have frequent close contact with sick people. Other measures such as washing your hands, not touching your face, coughing/sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and staying 1.5m apart from other people are recommended.

    Up to date information on medication supply in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic

    The NPS Medicinewise website has information about buying medicines from Australian pharmacies during the COVID-19 pandemic, including new limits on certain medicines, emergency supply of prescription medicines and advice about using paracetamol and ibuprofen.

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration has further information on COVID-19 dispensing limits and sales at pharmacies.

    Medication delivery service

    The RCH Pharmacy Department are currently running an expanded postal service for prescription medications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Pharmacy Department at the RCH has for many years offered a postal service for medications to patients and families that meet specific criteria. All those eligible for the postal service are required to pay for the costs associated with this service.

    The federal government has introduced a temporary program, which funds the delivery of medications from community pharmacies direct to the most vulnerable patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals pharmacies are not currently eligible for this program.

    The RCH recognises that there are patients and families that would be vulnerable to COVID-19, and those patients and families who are following government recommendations to avoid leaving their homes unnecessarily. The RCH has decided that during the COVID-19 pandemic (most likely the next 3–6 months), patients and families requesting medications to be posted will not incur the usual fee. Additionally patients who would not normally fit the criteria, due to proximity to the hospital, will now be eligible for this service if requested during this time.

    Unfortunately high cost medications, those over $500, cannot be sent through the postal service. These medications will still need to be collected from the hospital pharmacy as is current.

    Medications are posted out on Mondays–Thursday (excluding public holidays). Please allow sufficient time for your order to be processed and arrive via the post.

    The original prescription will need to be posted and received by the RCH pharmacy prior to any medications being posted by the RCH pharmacy department.

    How to order your medication in advance: prescription kept in the RCH pharmacy

    If your child's prescription is kept on file at the RCH Pharmacy, you can send your supply request to us:

    Email us:  rch.pharmacy@rch.org.au

    In your email please include the following information:

    • Your child's name and UR/MRN number
    • The medication(s) required
    • The best contact number/method
    • The date the medication is required
    • If you will come in to collect or need it posted out
    • The address the medication is to be posted to

    Once we have received your order we can process the prescription as per your requirements.

    The RCH email is accessed daily Monday–Friday between 9am and 4:30pm. (Excluding weekends and public holidays). We endeavour to answer your emails within 24 hours.

    How to order your medication in advance: prescription is at home

    • Scanning or taking a photo of the current prescription you have at home (both copies –whole page) and emailing all pages as a request to:  rch.pharmacy@rch.org.au along with the above information
    • The original prescription will need to be posted and received by the RCH pharmacy prior to any medications being posted by the RCH pharmacy department

    Original prescriptions will need to be posted to: 

    Pharmacy Department
    The Royal Children’s Hospital
    50 Flemington Road
    Parkville Victoria 3052

    Page updated April 14, 2020: Pharmacy Department and Quality and Improvement