State-wide pharmacy service for Voluntary Assisted Dying
The pharmacy service to support Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 will be based at The Alfred.
The Victorian Government announced plans for the model earlier this year – a development that adds further safeguards to the scheme that is set to commence on 19 June 2019.
To fulfil this state-wide role, the hospital’s pharmacy service will be responsible to import, store, prepare and dispense medications for Victorians who make the choice to access voluntary assisted dying.
The pharmacy service will provide phone support and advice to co-ordinating medical practitioners about the prescription of voluntary assisted dying medications.
These medications will be available only for people who have completed the request and assessment process under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act.
The first step for a person choosing to access voluntary assisted dying is to ask their doctor about it.
A spokesperson for Alfred Health said that a state-wide pharmacy service at a single tertiary hospital allows for a safe, controlled and accountable process for the prescription, dispensing, patient information and retrieving of the medications.
“The decision to use a single service for dispensing the medications rather than local pharmacies is to ensure consistent safeguards and services are in place.
“This will ensure people, no matter where they live in Victoria, are provided with medications in accordance with best practice.”
What is The Alfred’s involvement with the Voluntary Assisted Dying program?
The Alfred was asked by the Victorian Government to operate the program’s pharmacy service. This will ensure the medication is safeguarded, managed and dispensed in accordance with international best practice.
If I have a question about voluntary assisted dying can I contact the pharmacy service at The Alfred?
Community: No. The first step for a person choosing to access voluntary assisted dying is to ask their doctor about it.
Health practitioner: The state-wide pharmacy service will provide phone support and advice to co-ordinating medical practitioners about the prescription of voluntary assisted dying medications.
Members of the community and health practitioners can find out more about end of life care services, including voluntary assisted dying on the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services web site.