On 7 May 2020 the Minister of Health published a Government Notice (Gazette No 43294, Notice no. 514) relating to the dispensing of Schedule 2, Schedule 3 and Schedule 4 substances during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to the Notice, Schedule 2, Schedule 3 and Schedule 4 substances are excluded from certain provisions of the Medicines and Related Substances Act, No 101 of 1965 (“Medicines Act”) in so far it relates to the requirement in Section 22A(6)(f) that such substances may be dispensed for no longer than six (6) months.
This essentially creates an avenue for substances in these specific listed schedules, to be dispensed for a period of up to twelve (12) months from the date of the issue of a prescription by an authorised prescriber in accordance with Regulation 33 of the General Regulations to the medicines Act where the date of the issue of the prescription is:
||Up to six (6) months before the publication date of this notice – in such case additional repeats may be issued for a period up to six (6) months and in accordance with the original prescription in order to ensure that therapy is not disrupted.
This can only be done if the person dispensing the prescription is satisfied that an authorised prescriber initiated the therapy, with the intention that the therapy be continued, and that the particulars of such sale are recorded in a prescription book or permanent record in terms of Regulation 35 of the General Regulations; or
On or six (6) months after the date of publication of this Notice.
The Exemption is immediately effective for a period not exceeding eighteen (18) months from the signature date of the Notice which was 24 April 2020.