Safe access to contraception must be a priority
26 May 2023
A Senate Committee report into sexual and reproductive healthcare has supported the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s (PSA’s) call for pharmacists to play a greater role in improving safe access to contraceptives.
The Report tabled by the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee, Ending the postcode lottery: Addressing barriers to sexual, maternity and reproductive healthcare in Australia, recommended significant changes to Australia’s health system to make contraception, abortion and pregnancy care more accessible.
Among the recommendations are calls for all health professionals to practise to their full scope.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS acknowledged the recommendations, reiterating her support for pharmacist-prescribed contraceptives.
“Safe access to latest and safest contraception is not a luxury, it is a basic healthcare need,” Dr Sim said.
“Pharmacists are ready and able to improve healthcare for all Australians, offering safe, accessible, and equitable access to contraception and expert advice on their options.
“In many places around the world, pharmacists are already able to prescribe contraceptives to patients, giving us a model of care that is improving healthcare access for patients.
“To ensure that access to reproductive healthcare is timely and contemporary we must be prepared to do things differently and allow all health professionals to practice to their top of scope.
“Oral contraceptive pills are widely considered to be safe and effective medications, with more than 100 countries around the world allowing pharmacists to prescribe them without a prescription.
“Pharmacists are well placed to inform patients about their contraceptive options, including Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives.
“This is about making sure that Australians can access contraception when and where they need it.
“Pharmacists can and should be doing more to support the healthcare needs of Australians,” Dr Sim concluded.
Media contact: Georgia Clarke M: 0480 099 798 E: firstname.lastname@example.org