New South Australia’s health minister says people with low levels of neutropenias and other illnesses that require a doctor’s prescription should have access to the medication they need.
Key points:Neutropenic treatment was rolled out in the ACT last yearThe new guidelines state people with chronic low levels will need a prescription from a doctorIf someone has a chronic low level, they can get a drug from a pharmacyThe guidelines are designed to reduce access to drug treatment, and the minister says the state has no choice but to follow themDr Paul Hickey says people should have the option of getting the medication in their own home or pharmacies.
He says people can be prescribed medications through pharmacies, but people need a doctor to get a prescription.
Dr Hickey said if someone has been prescribed a drug, the patient has to get approval for that drug from their GP.
“I think that would be a very challenging task,” he said.
“There’s no option, no way to go from a prescription to an approved drug.”
Dr Hitchie says the medication is not meant to treat low blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or any other illness.
“If you have any of those conditions, the doctor has to prescribe the medication and you’re not going to be able to access it,” he explained.
“So it’s very limited in terms of what the doctor can prescribe.”
The guidelines state patients with chronic lows in the blood or urine must also get a doctor approval for a drug to be prescribed.
“The guidelines say that when you have a low blood concentration, or low blood-pressure, or you have high cholesterol or low HDL, you’re going to need a blood test, you have to have a blood work, you must have a doctor get you a prescription,” Dr Hickey explained.”[That prescription] can be from a pharmacist or a nurse practitioner or whatever the doctor’s choice is.”
“If they’re able to get that prescription, then you can have access, you can be on that medication, you’ll get access to it in your own home, and it can be delivered through pharmacies.”
The New South Australian Government says it has no plans to roll out any more guidelines.