We all know the trouble of having to book a GP appointment just to get a repeat prescription filled. Having to make time out of your day, possibly take time off work, travel to the clinic and then wait (even after booking an appointment!) only for a 5 minute visit with your GP for a prescription you already knew you needed can be a hassle. How great would it be if you could just talk to a doctor on call and get your prescription online in Australia! Wait...can you do that?
Many telehealth services today offer online prescription services. No more having to regularly book an appointment with your GP for a refill of your contraceptive pill. No more taking time off work to make it to your GP’s clinic in time for your appointment. No more having to make babysitting arrangements for the kids at home! With just a quick call to a AHPRA registered doctor, you can get your prescription refilled after the doctor confirms your medical history and asks a few targeted questions about your condition.
But how does it work? We know your mind is probably bustling with questions about the service. Let’s go through them one by one:
How do I get a prescription online in Australia?
Many online health services today have an app, through which you can manage your bookings, see your medical records, book new appointments, request specialist referrals and more. You may also be able to get the same services through their website. Usually, the service provider will require you to answer a series of questions regarding your medical history and condition before having a registered doctor review your request. If the doctor feels like more information is required, they may get in touch with you for an online consultation. Once satisfied, the doctor will be able to write you your prescription. Please allow at least 24 hours for a doctor to get in touch with you.
Can I get a new prescription for a new condition?
No. The online prescription service is just for repeat prescriptions. In order to prescribe new medication, your doctor may ask for an online consultation or a physical visit to a doctor. However, once you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that will require frequent prescription refills, you may use the services of online doctors.
How will I collect my prescription?
Once your doctor is satisfied and has approved your request, they will send your prescription to your chosen pharmacy to pick up at your own convenience. However, you may want to call the pharmacy ahead and remind them to check the junk mailbox on their emails to ensure they have received your doctor’s email.
What medications can I order?
You may be able to get prescription medication for a number of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, menopause, cholestrol, osteoporosis, asthma or for contraception.
Can I get Schedule 8 controlled drugs from an online prescription services?
No. Not even if they have been prescribed to you by your regular doctor. Schedule 8 controlled drugs include opioids, morphine, oxycodone, methadone and buprenorphine.
Is getting a repeat prescription online even legal?
Of course! Most online healthcare services are strictly mandated and observed by the law, and must be HIPAA Compliant in order to operate. Moreover, any doctors reviewing your requests are AHPRA registered, and have a working licence to practice medicine. Still in doubt? Search for your doctor’s name or registration number on AHPRA’s register of practitioners for your peace of mind!
Will I be refunded if the doctor does not approve of my request?
While the individual returns and refund policy of each online healthcare provider may differ, in most cases, if a medical professional deems your case unsuitable for an online prescription refill, you will be refunded. Depending on the policy of the provider you are using, they may refund the full cost to a wallet that can be used to book other services later, or to your bank. Please keep in mind that if you choose the bank transfer option, the standard bank transfer charges may be deducted from your refund.
Can I get a prescription refilled if I’m out of Australia?
No. Under medical law, doctors in Australia are unable to prescribe medication to anyone outside of Australian borders. However, as long as you are within Australian borders, online healthcare services do not discriminate between whether you are a citizen, visa holder or just a tourist.
Getting Prescriptions Online In Australia
There’s no doubt about it. Being able to get a prescription online in Australia without having to make a trip to your GP not only saves you time but also allows your GP to book patients that may have more pressing needs!
Published by Marta Jordan