Supporting collaborative prescribing to improve safe and effective use of medicines

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) supports collaborative prescribing of medicines by pharmacists to improve Australians’ access to safe and effective healthcare, in its response to the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s Public discussion paper on pharmacist prescribing.


PSA National President Dr Chris Freeman said PSA had advocated for collaborative pharmacist prescribing and recognised the work that had already been done to develop this role.


“PSA supports collaborative prescribing of medicines by pharmacists within a framework that allows them to practise to the full extent of their expertise,” Dr Freeman said.


“Pharmacists have more clinical training in medicines than any other health professional, they already perform clinical assessment and diagnosis within their scope of practice and prescribe other scheduled medicines. These activities are within the national competency framework for pharmacists.


“Prescribing Schedule 4 medicines is a logical next step and continuation of pharmacists’ role in medicines management.


“As stated in our Pharmacists in 2023 report, we are committed to enabling pharmacists to practise to their full scope by advocating for expanded roles and new opportunities in prescribing, consistent with their recognised competency framework.”


One of the actions for change outlined in Pharmacists in 2023 is to Facilitate pharmacist prescribing within a collaborative care model.


PSA surveyed pharmacists, interns and students to inform its response to the Pharmacy Board. Ninety-four per cent of respondents agreed pharmacists are already well placed to prescribe under a structured prescribing arrangement or under supervision.


The majority of respondents said they would prescribe under the proposed models, with 56% saying they planned to prescribe under a structured prescribing arrangement as soon as it was implemented.


In its submission to the Pharmacy Board, PSA outlined the core principles that must underpin pharmacist prescribing, including:

  • Safety and wellbeing of the patient are fundamental priorities
  • Patients are supported to receive patient-centred care in a timely manner
  • Pharmacist prescribers have professional accountability and responsibility to patients as well as other members of the healthcare team
  • The pharmacist prescriber works as a member of a collaborative care team with shared responsibility and implements highest standards of communication with patients and other team members
  • Separation of prescribing and dispensing functions in a risk based framework.


“PSA looks forward to working with the Pharmacy Board and the wider profession to support pharmacist prescribers by establishing training and recognition requirements, enabling legislative and regulatory change, and developing a framework for collaborative prescribing across practice settings,” Dr Freeman said.


Media contact:   Michellé Mabille, Marketing and Communications Manager – 0487 922 176