Image-based prescribing – additional extension to 31 March 2022

Following consultation with the AMA, the Department of Health has agreed to an additional extension of image-based prescribing arrangements until 31 March 2022. 

This extension is to provide an emergency option for exceptional circumstances where electronic prescribing or other mechanisms cannot be used, particularly where communities continue to be affected by state-wide COVID-19 lockdowns.  

The Department of Health introduced the National Health (COVID-19 Supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits) Special Arrangement 2020, also known as ‘image-based prescribing’, in March 2020 as an interim arrangement while electronic prescribing capabilities were being developed. Electronic prescribing has been available nationally with over 83% of prescribers, and over 98% of pharmacists issuing and dispensing electronic prescriptions. 

After 31 March 2022, healthcare providers will continue to have options that existed before image-based prescribing (in addition to electronic prescribing) to enable remote support to their patients.  

Factsheets on the supply of prescriptions via telehealth for prescribers and dispensers will be shortly updated to reflect the new image-based prescribing cessation date. 

While the Department has set out some standards and restrictions on access to medicines, state and territory governments regulate medicines and prescriptions.  

Further information regarding specific legislation and options to assist in each jurisdiction for image-based prescribing can be found here.  

If you have further questions, please contact

Related topics