In certain limited circumstances it will now be legal for a retail pharmacist to substitute different strengths or formulations of a prescribed medicine product which is unavailable, without contacting the prescriber. (Separate arrangements apply in NSW public hospitals.)
Where there is a Serious Shortage Substitution Notice
on the TGA website
, and a Serious Shortage Medicine Substitution Authority
under the NSW Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Regulation 2008, published on this website
, the substitution is permitted. The Notice and Authority will specify which exact product may be substituted for a prescribed product, and under what conditions. For example, substitution of 60 x 20mg tablets of a medicine, on a prescription for 30 x 40mg tablets of the same medicine, if the pharmacist judges it appropriate for the patient.