I am
Show me:
Show me:
COVID-19 puts pressure on pharmacies but there is no need to stockpile heart medication
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

COVID-19 puts pressure on pharmacies but there is no need to stockpile heart medication

Media Release - 27 March 2020

The Heart Foundation is reassuring Australians that cardiac medicines are available at most pharmacies, despite an increase in demand over the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, Australia experienced unprecedented demand for certain medications in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Government has since announced restrictions, limiting the purchase of some prescription and non-prescription drugs.

The Heart Foundation’s General Manager, Heart Health and Research, Bill Stavreski, said there were no major shortages of medications that are used to treat cardiovascular disease.

He also urged people with heart disease to consider using the Federal Government’s Home Medicines Delivery Service which is open to those who are isolating themselves on the advice of their doctor and for vulnerable groups, including people with heart disease.

Several community pharmacies have reported pressure on some brands of cardiac medication as some suppliers have temporarily run low on stock, but pharmaceutical companies are continuing to manufacture these drugs,” Mr Stavreski said.

“The government’s restrictions on medications are easing the pressure.

“It is important that people with heart disease continue to take their medications unless they have specific instructions from their doctor to change something. Generally, your regular monthly supply is all you need to have at home.”

Under the current restrictions, pharmacists are required to limit customers to one month’s supply of many prescription medicines.

Cardiac medicines on the restricted list include:

  • anti-anginal medication which is used for chest pain associated with angina;
  • anti-arrhythmics, used for an irregular heartbeat;
  • anti-coagulants including warfarin, and antiplatelets such as aspirin, which are used to prevent blood clots and prevent heart attacks;
  • blood pressure medicines such as ACE inhibitors and beta blockers;
  • and diuretics which help rid the body of excess fluid, often used to treat heart failure or to lower blood pressure.

The full list is available on the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration website.

Mr Stavreski said anyone who thinks they might be eligible for the Home Medicines Delivery Service could call their local pharmacist to discuss arrangements.

The Government established the temporary delivery service to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. Eligible people can order their prescription medicines remotely.

Media enquiries

Suzanne McKenzie, Senior Media Adviser
M: 0434 691 461 E: Suzanne.mckenzie@heartfoundation.org.au

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Heart Healthy Dinner Plan

Sign up now and discover delicious, easy to follow dinner recipes. Plus shopping lists, tips and other helpful information to make healthy eating easy. ...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join the Heart Foundation community. Together, we can make a real difference for Australian hearts. ...

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Support and resources for health care professionals

Our range of clinical and patient support resources are available for you to use in your daily practice....

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Aboriginal heart health

Visit the St Vincents Hospital NSW and Heart Foundation Aboriginal heart health website for more information...

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Support us and help save Australian hearts

Join the fight against Australia’s biggest killer by supporting the Heart Foundation.  ...

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

Heart Foundation programs and resources to support your recovery....

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines

Full list of clinical guidlines and references for CVD, heart failure, ACS, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, SCAD and RHD...

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Help Keep families together this Christmas

Together, we can make heart disease history. Donate today to help fund ground-breaking heart research and keep families together this Christmas. ...

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

Are you at risk of heart disease?

There is no single cause for any one heart condition, but there are risk factors that increase your chance of developing one. ...

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

When The Heart Gets Heavy: Emotional Wellbeing and Heart Conditions

Emotional wellbeing is like having a garden, sometimes it grows green on its own, other times it needs watering, cutting back or fertilising....

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

WEBINAR | Absolute CVD risk assessment practical update

A multidisciplinary panel of experts discuss the practical application of absolute CVD risk assessment through Heart Health Checks....

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

WEBINAR | Heart failure diagnosis and care

Improving diagnosis and care for heart failure patients....

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack. ...

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes and heart disease

Diabetes is an ongoing health condition where your body’s usual ways of controlling your blood sugar, or blood glucose levels, don’t work properly. ...

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Search for healthy snack ideas...

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

What's your BMI?

Are you within a healthy weight range for your height?...

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Key Statistics: Cardiovascular Disease

Key data and statistics about CVD....

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

Healthy Food Access Tasmania

We've been working on several projects with local governments across Tasmania, big and small....

Food and nutrition position statements

Food and nutrition position statements

Food and nutrition position statements

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Supporting Young Hearts Program

Information and resources for health professionals who are treating patients between 18 - 40 years of age....

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

WEBINAR | Heart Health Checks: the critical role of the practice nurse

This webinar discusses the role of practice nurses in conducting heart health checks...

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

Supporting SA cardiac patients and health professionals with free resources

We want to make it easier for South Australians to lead heart-healthy lives....

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Blood cholesterol

Keeping your blood cholesterol at a healthy level can help you reduce your risk of heart disease and other serious conditions. ...

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Get started with more physical activity

Finding time for physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your heart...

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Blood pressure and your heart

Understand blood pressure and how it can impact your heart health....

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Applying for research funding with the Heart Foundation

Discover more about our various funding programs, requirements, and application dates now....

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

Encouraging cardiovascular research excellence in NSW

A ground-breaking collaboration bringing together for the first time the state’s most eminent cardiovascular researchers...