Previous legislation specifically allowed schools, kindergartens and childcare services to purchase, store and administer adrenaline auto injectors for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis and salbutamol inhalers for emergency treatment of asthma. This provided an ability for educational organisations to keep lifesaving medicines on hand, to treat children under their care, in an emergency.
Current regulations permit organisations such as schools, sporting clubs, scout groups, churches, camps, and other similar organisations to administer these medicines in an emergency. This recognises that emergencies may arise in places other than schools.
Pharmacists may be asked to supply these items to a school or organisation where a specific patient and a therapeutic need cannot be not readily identified. In this circumstance supply is permitted, but must be related to the official activities of the school or organisation.
Pharmacists must still exercise due professional judgement regarding verification of requests, quantities supplied, and counselling offered. The supply of any S3 medicine is at the discretion of the pharmacist who is legally obliged to determine safety prior to purchase.
Safety considerations for pharmacists include:
- establishing bona fides of the organisation and the person purchasing the medicine
- a genuine need exists and quantities are reasonable for the intended use
- use is for official purposes of the organisation and there is no overuse or misuse
- there is adequate control of access (safe and secure storage).