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Prescribing, Dispensing or Supply of Hydroxychloroquine Direction

Prescribing, Dispensing or Supply of Hydroxychloroquine Direction

This content was last updated on 28 April 2020.

To slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and to protect the health of all Queenslanders, the Queensland Government is taking extra steps to ensure the right medicine is given to the right person, for the right reason.

From 7 April 2020, hydroxychloroquine can only be prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.

Pharmacists can only dispense hydroxychloroquine if:

  • it is prescribed by a registered medical practitioner; and
  • they have taken reasonable steps to confirm the person they are dispensing to has a genuine medical need.

The official public health direction is available here.

What this means for you

  • You can continue to be prescribed hydroxychloroquine by a registered medical practitioner if you have a genuine reason for needing the medicine.
  • You are not allowed to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19.

Questions and Answers about this Direction

Can I get hydroxychloroquine for a medical condition?

You can be prescribed hydroxychloroquine by a registered medical practitioner if you have a genuine reason for needing the medicine.

Can I take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19?

You are not allowed to take hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure for COVID-19.

When can pharmacists dispense hydroxychloroquine?

Pharmacists can only dispense hydroxychloroquine if:

  • it is prescribed by a registered medical practitioner; and
  • they have taken reasonable steps to confirm the person they are dispensing to has a genuine medical need.

What is Hydroxychloroquine?

Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used to prevent and treat acute attacks of malaria. It is also used to treat discoid or symptomatic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis whose symptoms have not improved with other treatments.

Does Hydroxychloroquine cure COVID-19?

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus (COVID-19). Some specific treatments are under investigation and will be tested through clinical trials.

What is the penalty if the direction is not followed?

If you don’t comply you may receive an on the spot fine of $1334, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or 6 months imprisonment.

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

To apply for an exemption to a Direction please complete the online form.

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