Department of Health

Pharmacotherapy services: information for prescribers and dispensers - COVID-19

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD)1 is a highly effective treatment. Maintaining continuity of MATOD is critical to prevent morbidity and mortality.

Measures to support physical distancing are important to protect the health of those in MATOD, many of whom may be at increased risk during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This document provides advice to prescribers and pharmacists to support these measures and to:

  • Ensure continued access to MATOD in a way that reduces risks to patients. This may include increasing access to critical harm reduction treatments such as naloxone (where there is a risk of overdose).
  • Reduce travel and attendance requirements for MATOD through providing longer prescription durations and more unsupervised doses where clinically appropriate. This will reduce crowding in healthcare services. All measures that reduce visits from the community to healthcare settings will reduce pressures and risk for prescribers, pharmacists, other healthcare staff and consumers.

The Department of Health and pharmacotherapy experts are actively working together to ensure that all reasonable measures are taken to achieve the aims above. Regular advice and updates on any developments will be provided to prescribers, dispensers and consumers.


Date published
10 Apr 2021
4 pages

Reviewed 29 November 2021

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