Shortage of the medicine hydroxychloroquine due to interest in experimental use in the treatment of COVID-19 has prompted the need to limit prescribing and supply of the medicine, to ensure supplies are available for treatment and clinical trials.
Only the following medical or dental practitioners are authorised under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 to prescribe and supply hydroxychloroquine:
- A medical practitioner registered in the specialty of
- intensive care medicine
- paediatrics and child health
- emergency medicine
- A medical practitioner practicing in a public hospital to treat patients of the hospital
- A dentist registered in the specialty of oral medicine.
A registered medical practitioner practising in general practice, may prescribe (but not supply) hydroxychloroquine, but only for the purpose of continuing treatment initiated by a medical practitioner registered in the specialty of dermatology; intensive care medicine; paediatrics and child health; emergency medicine; or in the field of specialty practice of a physician.
A medical practitioner or dental practitioner may not prescribe or supply hydroxychloroquine for self-administration.
The prescriber must endorse a prescription with words that clearly indicate that the prescription has been issued under clause 37 of the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008.
A pharmacist may only dispense a prescription for hydroxychloroquine if the prescription has been issued by a prescriber authorised to prescribe it, as stated above.
Hydroxychloroquine may be administered to a patient where it has been prescribed or directed to be administered by a medical practitioner authorised to prescribe it.
The prescribing, supply and administration of hydroxychloroquine is prohibited under the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008 unless authorised as above.