Lost medications, prescriptions or cards

Speak to a pharmacist if due to bushfires you do not have or have lost your

  • medication
  • prescription
  • or Medicare, DVA or Centrelink card.

If you are in a bushfire affected area and don’t have access to your medicine or prescription, you can call your current GP and ask them to send your prescription to a pharmacist near you. If you can’t contact your GP, you can go to a local pharmacy to get an emergency supply for the usual amount of the prescription for most medicines. These special arrangements for the emergency supply of medicines to patients in areas affected by the NSW bushfires are in place until 31 March 2020.

The usual arrangements for 3 day emergency supply and continued dispensing remain in place in all areas of NSW. If you require an urgent supply of oral contraceptives or cholesterol lowering medicine (statins), pharmacists can dispense a single PBS quantity to you, consistent with continued dispensing guidelines.

Refrigerated medicines

Some medicines require storage in a refrigerator (between +2°C and +8°C). Temperature sensitive medicines deteriorate and lose effectiveness if not refrigerated. Examples of these medicines are:

  • vaccines
  •  insulin
  • thyroxine tablets
  • immune therapies
  • some eye drops
  • some hormone products and
  • some antibiotic mixtures for children.

If electricity has been cut off for an extended period and the quality of refrigerated medicines has been compromised, the medicines should be discarded and replaced as soon as possible.

If the medicine is essential to sustain health (e.g., insulin), the medicine should continue to be used until a new supply is available.

Evacuating with refrigerated medicines

As part of your household emergency preparedness planning, check with your pharmacist about emergency storage of refrigerated medicines and have ice packs and/or ice bricks on hand.

Do not freeze medicines.

More information

If you are concerned about the safety or storage of a particular medicine, contact your pharmacist or doctor or contact Health Direct on 1800 022 222 for guidance.

For further information on storing insulin, refer to the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) or contact the NDSS helpline on 1300 136 588.​​

Page Updated: Wednesday 8 January 2020
Contact page owner: Environmental Health