Canberra pharmacies have urged customers not to panic buy medication or stock up on several months' worth of prescriptions, amid fears it could lead to further shortages.
It comes as new rules were announced on Thursday limiting paracetamol and ventolin purchases to one per customer with children's paracetamol to be sold behind the counter.
The announcement was made after many patients reported being unable to get potentially life-saving medication such as ventolin for asthma sufferers.
Owner of The Pharmacy on Northbourne, Chris Lawler, said the chemist was only getting short-term supplies in a bid to further prevent shortages and empty shelves.
"Customers have been requesting a couple of months' worth of medication rather than just a few weeks at a time which has caused a bit of a backlog," Mr Lawler said.
"Other items have been slowly running out and wholesalers are restricting non-essential supplies.
"It's not a doomsday scenario in the pharmacy at this stage."
Pharmacies have been urged by federal health officials to limit prescriptions to one month's worth of supplies.
Pharmacists have sought to reassure a panicked public that chemists would remain open regardless of the unfolding situation over coronavirus.
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Some chemists in the capital said they had seen a 400 per cent surge in demand for some medication due to coronavirus.
Group business manager for Capital Chemist, Andrew Topp, said other items such as hand sanitisers and face masks were long out of stock since the beginning of the year due to the bushfire crisis.
"The big things now have been children's Panadol and ventolin and supplies of puffers have been running low," Mr Topp said.
"Other brands of adult paracetamol have been running low as well.
"People are now turning up earlier than they normally would to fill prescriptions, and the supply chain can't cope if that happens."
Deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly told the media on Thursday restrictions on some medical supplies would be implemented in a bid to prevent shortages.
"There have been reports of people buying large quantities of [paracetamol and ventolin] over the last few days," Dr Kelly said.
"I recognise that people are fearful about issues, particularly those that might affect their own families, but I say again, as the Prime Minister said about panic buying, please do not buy more than you need."
Dr Kelly said shortages had affected supplies in some local pharmacies and that health officials were working to get supply chains running to those areas.
"We have a very good system of knowing about medicine shortages in Australia and in face it is incumbent on all medicine suppliers that they must tell us if there is a shortage now or shortly into the future," Dr Kelly said.
"We have not heard that from suppliers."
A spokesman for Asthma Australia said those with asthma should have access to 30 days of prescription medication.
"We strongly urge people to be considerate of their purchasing so that everyone can access what they need," the spokesman said.
"Advice received by the Therapeutic Goods Administration is that there is plenty of medication in Australia and stock is being replenished in affected pharmacies."
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