Patients win with NSW prescribing pilot
19 February 2023
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes today’s announcement from New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard that pharmacists will soon be able to renew existing scripts for the contraceptive pill and provide care to patients suffering from Urinary Tract Infections under a new clinical trial across all 2100 community pharmacies.
The announced prescribing trial for the treatment of UTIs is set to begin on 1 April 2023, with a trial for the renewal of oral contraceptive pill prescriptions to begin on 1 July 2023 and allow pharmacists to extend an original script issued by a GP or nurse practitioner in the past 2 years.
PSA NSW President Chelsea Felkai said that the pilot will significantly improve access to timely care for NSW patients, and reaffirmed PSA’s support for the program.
“Pharmacists are well-positioned to deliver quality, timely care to NSW patients experiencing uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections,” Ms Felkai said.
“Congratulations to PSA NSW Vice-President Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin and the University of Newcastle for her work in getting the UTI clinical trial up and running.
“Pharmacists participating in the pilot program will undergo additional training, including identifying signs of complex health conditions that require a referral to a GP or hospital.
“Trained Queensland pharmacists have been successfully prescribing for uncomplicated UTIs since 2020, giving patients timely access to medicines in an environment where it could otherwise take up to six weeks to get a GP appointment.
“The GP crisis shows no signs of easing, so we need every healthcare professional to be working to their top of scope and contributing to their full capacity.
“We have a health system that is approaching breaking point. The health profession needs to work together to support patients as their health needs become more complex. This includes reducing duplication and empowering patients with self-care.
“The entire pharmacist profession remains committed to working collaboratively with the entire health sector to deliver best outcomes for patients.”
PSA National President, Dr Fei Sim, also commended the NSW Government on this announcement, and called on other jurisdictions to follow suit.
“PSA has been calling on governments around Australia to allow pharmacists to play a greater role in community health.
“Pharmacists have the skills and medicine expertise to renew prescriptions for stable, chronic conditions. With ongoing GP shortages across the country, it is time for other jurisdictions to follow NSW’s lead.
“We are already working with pharmacists in NSW and around the country to provide clinical support and treatment guidelines for pharmacists to treat Urinary Tract Infections, and will continue to support patients getting timely access to healthcare.”
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.