Queensland Budget sets pharmacists up for Scope of Practice Pilot

11 June 2024


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes education funding for pharmacists in the Miles Government’s 2024-25 Queensland State Budget.


Today’s state budget commits $6 million to enable pharmacists to complete additional training to support the state-wide rollout of the Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot. This includes completion of prescribing training and clinical practice training, and will allow participating pharmacists to treat and prescribe medicines for common health conditions and wellbeing services, making healthcare more accessible for Queenslanders.


PSA also welcomes the government’s $72.9 million investment in free vaccinations for Queenslanders, including $40 million to fund influenza vaccines for all Queenslanders aged over 6 months, $26 million to fund meningococcal B vaccines for eligible infants, children, and adolescents, and $6.9 million to fund RSV vaccines.


PSA Queensland President Mr Shane MacDonald said the budget gives pharmacists the support they need to prepare for Australia’s most progressive scope of practice pilot.


“Investment in pharmacists ensures that our workforce is ready to offer expanded health services to Queenslanders,” Mr MacDonald said.


“Financial support to help meet training costs means more pharmacists participating in the pilot, and more services in more communities.


“We thank the Miles Government for their continued support and collaboration with the profession to bring the Scope of Practice Pilot to Queenslanders, better utilising the skills and accessibility of pharmacists to improve access to healthcare across the state.


“PSA is pleased to again welcome the continuation of free influenza vaccines for Queenslanders in 2025, easing the cost burden of essential vaccines on Queensland families,” Mr MacDonald continued.


“Knowing that every patient will have access to a vaccination at no cost, pharmacists can proactively plan now for the 2025 flu season.”


Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Pharmacists to administer RSV vaccines in QLD

1 May 2024


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) encourages Queensland residents over the age of 60 years to book a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine appointment with their local pharmacist, following the addition of the vaccine to the Extended Practice Authority – Pharmacists V5 (EPA) today.

Queensland now joins New South Wales and Victoria as the only jurisdictions in Australia to allow pharmacists to initiate and administer RSV vaccines.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald welcomed the move, saying it was important people protected themselves against infectious diseases ahead of winter.

“We know that older adults with chronic medical conditions including asthma, COPD and diabetes are at an even higher risk of hospitalisation or death because of RSV,” Mr MacDonald said.

“It just makes sense to make the vaccine as accessible as possible, to as many eligible people as possible.

“PSA has been advocating for this vaccine to be added the Extended Practice Authority for some time, and we’re really encouraged see the Queensland Government taking action.”

PSA National President, Associate Professor Fei Sim FPS, called on other Australian jurisdictions to follow lead.

“ATAGI has issued three significant statements about vaccination – for COVID-19, influenza and, for the first time, RSV. Now we have a vaccine that is recommended, it’s important to make sure people can access it from all their regular vaccine providers, including pharmacists.”

RSV vaccines are currently not funded by the National Immunisation Program.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends people over the age of 75 years receive RSV vaccination as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 60 years and those aged over 60 with medical conditions that increase the risk of severe disease due to RSV. All other people over the age of 60 years are also eligible for RSV vaccination.

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Unlocking pharmacist’s potential in the QLD Scope of Practice Pilot

24 April 2024 


Queenslanders are set to have greater access to high-quality, primary healthcare services from today (24 April 2024) under the state government’s Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

Under the Pilot, trained pharmacists will be able to prescribe for a range of common conditions and better support patients with medication management through therapeutic adaptation and substitution and continued dispensing.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald welcomed Health Minister Shannon Fentiman’s announcement today in Cairns.

“The 2020 election commitment to work with PSA, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and other stakeholders to implement this Pilot is finally being realised.  It has been a long journey, and we thank the Government for the collaborating with the profession to execute this important work.”

“We must also acknowledge the pioneering pharmacists who, amidst their professional workload and family responsibilities, have dedicated themselves to undertake the extensive education program required to participate.

“Better utilising the skills and accessibility of pharmacists is a great outcome for all Queenslanders,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Queensland is already leading the nation on pharmacist vaccination scope, delivering more vaccines to more patients, and improving vaccine coverage across our state. This is a vote of confidence from the Queensland Government in the skills and expertise of our pharmacists to continue delivering safe and accessible primary health care to Queenslanders.

“On the ten-year anniversary of the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot, which led the way on using the pharmacist workforce to vaccinate Australians, the Queensland Government once again is the trail blazer in exploring the benefits of using all health professions to their full scope.

“Empowering pharmacists to manage common acute conditions and better support chronic disease management in community pharmacies is a progressive step towards enhancing healthcare accessibility. Piloting this initiative in Queensland will pave the way for nation-wide impact,” Mr MacDonald concluded.

Queensland PSA Branch Committee member and Pharmacy Partner at LiveLife Pharmacy Macrossan Street (Port Douglas), James Buckley is one of the first pharmacists to complete the training and be authorised to participate.

“I am really excited to be able to support my local community to have better access to care. Pharmacists are so accessible and our pharmacies are open late and on weekends.  It just makes sense to use us to the top of our scope.”


PSA is currently working with the government to become an approved training provider to support the state-wide roll out of the Pilot.


Pilot services

Pharmacists who are approved participate in the Pilot are able to provide additional services that can be grouped into three categories:


Medication management services including therapeutic adaptation, therapeutic substitution and continued dispensing.


Autonomous prescribing for specified acute common conditions and health and wellbeing services: 

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Acute nausea and vomiting
  • Allergic and nonallergic rhinitis
  • Impetigo
  • Herpes zoster (shingles)
  • Mild to moderate atopic dermatitis
  • Acute exacerbations of mild plaque psoriasis
  • Mild to moderate acne
  • Acute wound management
  • Acute diffuse otitis externa
  • Acute otitis media
  • Acute mild musculoskeletal pain and inflammation
  • Smoking cessation
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Oral health screening and fluoride application
  • Travel health
  • Management of overweight and obesity


Protocol/structured prescribing as part of a chronic disease management program: 

  • Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Program for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia
  • Improved Asthma (and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction) Symptom Program
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Monitoring Program


Consumers interested in learning more can visit Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au) to find participating pharmacies.

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Queenslanders to have greater access to hormonal contraception through community pharmacists

15 March 2024


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes today’s announcement from the Queensland Government, allowing trained pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception to women across the state as part of a pilot program from July 2024.

The pilot will mean women and girls aged 16 and older across Queensland can access a range of hormonal contraceptives through their local pharmacist, including:

  • oral medications – the combined oral contraceptive pill (excluding those with high estrogen dose) and the progesterone-only pill.
  • injected medication – Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.
  • contraceptive device – the combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring.


PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS said that improving timely access to contemporary options for reproductive care is a welcome move.

“PSA’s vision is that every Queenslander has access to safe, quality, and effective healthcare through optimising the role of pharmacists. This is certainly a positive step towards achieving this,” Mr MacDonald says.

“PSA welcomes the announcement today and we look forward to continuing to work with Minister Fentiman and the Queensland Government on the education and implementation of this Pilot, as we currently do for the Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

“Appropriately trained pharmacists can do more to support the healthcare needs of Queenslanders, including improving access to safe and effective hormonal contraceptives.

“By leveraging the accessibility and credibility of pharmacists, this pilot will go a long way to improve equitable and timely access to reproductive healthcare, including women living in rural and remote areas where access to care is increasingly challenging.

“On the 10-year anniversary of the nation-leading Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot, the Queensland Government has shown once again its commitment to improving access to quality healthcare for Queenslanders.”

PSA National President Associate Professor Fei Sim FPS, who is presenting at the Women’s Health Summit in Canberra this week, calls on governments around Australia to consider how they can improve access to care.

“83 per cent of Australian women have used contraception at some point in their lives, and yet there are still significant barriers to access that need to be addressed,” A/Prof Sim said.

“We congratulate and commend the Queensland Government for their leadership and commitment to improve women’s access to contraception. Access to contraception is not a luxury, but a basic healthcare need.

“Our healthcare crisis requires all health professionals to practise to their full scope, and collaboratively, we can improve our health system’s capacity.

“I call on all governments across the country to consider measures to improve women’s access to reproductive healthcare,” she concluded.


Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Thank You Premier Palaszczuk

11 December 2023




Following the announcement of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s retirement, I want to acknowledge and thank her for the unwavering support and leadership of her government over the last 9 years. Palaszczuk’s commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of our state has undoubtedly improved the lives of all Queenslanders.


Premier Palaszczuk has supported pharmacists and the health care system through some of our most difficult challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. During a period of immense pressure, the outgoing Premier led with conviction and steadfast commitment to her state.


Under Premier Palaszczuk’s leadership the potential of our profession has been unlocked, with pharmacists able to contribute more to the health of our communities. PSA is proud to have supported the Palaszczuk Government’s pharmacist scope of practice pilots, leading the country in the accessible and timely treatment of urinary tract infections, contraception, and other common conditions.


Under Palaszczuk’s leadership, Queensland’s pharmacists can administer more vaccines to more patients, improving immunisation coverage across our state.

It is important to acknowledge that Premier Palaszczuk’s Government was the first in Australia to pilot pharmacist administration of vaccinations in 2014. This proactive approach meant that an entire workforce could be mobilised and administer vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic.


On behalf of pharmacists across Queensland, I thank Premier Palaszczuk for her leadership, and wish her the best for what comes next.


I look forward to continuing to work constructively with the Government and the next Premier, on behalf of pharmacists, to support the health of all Queenslanders.



Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Vaccine certainty protects Queenslanders

2 November 2023


Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman MP has today announced that the Queensland Government will invest $40 million to ensure every Queenslander will have access free influenza vaccinations in 2024.

Under the National Immunisation Program (NIP) children aged six months to five years, pregnant women, people aged 65 and over, First Nations people and those with certain medical conditions can access no-cost vaccinations, while Australians outside of these groups pay a private fee to receive an influenza vaccination.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS welcomed the announcement.

“Removing cost barriers and giving Queenslanders greater access to vaccines is a great first step to improving vaccine uptake,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Queensland still falls behind national influenza coverage in almost every age group, an ongoing challenge that needs action from the whole health system, including government and all healthcare professionals.

“This is a common-sense approach to improving vaccination coverage.

“Funding certainty ahead of the 2024 flu season will mean that pharmacists can adequately prepare and meet increased demand.

“Knowing that every patient will have access to a vaccination at no cost, pharmacists can start having conversations now to encourage our patients to get their vaccine before the start of flu season.”

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au

Queensland leading nation on pharmacist vaccination scope

30 October 2023


Queensland is continuing to lead the nation on vaccination policy, with Health Minister the Hon. Shannon Fentiman MP today announcing expanded vaccination scope for Queensland pharmacists from 30 October 2023.

The new Extended Practice Authority (EPA) will allow pharmacists to vaccinate Queenslanders aged 2 years and older and will also authorise pharmacists to deliver vaccinations in more settings, including general practices, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health services, and aged care facilities.

The new EPA will also enable pharmacists to deliver a wider range of vaccines including:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Meningococcal B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Typhoid fever
  • Zoster (herpes zoster), and
  • Japanese encephalitis.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Queensland President Shane MacDonald MPS welcomed the move and the Queensland Government’s ongoing commitment to improving access to health services.

“Allowing more people to be vaccinated by their local pharmacist is a vital step in not only protecting individual Queenslanders but the entire community,” Mr MacDonald said.

“PSA has strongly advocated for pharmacists across all health settings to be able to deliver more vaccines to patients of all ages. This is a great step toward pharmacists practising to our full potential to support the health of our communities.

“On behalf of pharmacists I thank Minister Fentiman for her commitment to improving health care and ensuring that vaccinations are accessible to all Queenslanders.

“PSA also supports the authorisation of pharmacists to administer prescribed medicines in the new EPA. This is a common sense, consumer centric approach which will support patients experiencing issues with administering their own medications or accessing a health professional to administer.

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Minister and the Queensland Government to promote these new services to the community and to continue to ensure that pharmacists can practise to our top of scope and best support the health of our state,” Mr MacDonald concluded.

PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said it was vital for regulations around vaccination to be consistent across all states and territories.

“At the moment, every jurisdiction in Australia has different regulations around which vaccinations can be administered by pharmacists.

“Australians should be able to access the same level of health care regardless of where they live. A nationally consistent schedule of pharmacist-administered vaccinations is key to achieve equitable access to government-funded vaccines by all Australians.

“Our health system needs all trained immunisers to play a role in delivering vaccines. We need qualified pharmacists to be able to administer vaccines wherever there is a patient need.

“I urge all states and territories to follow Queensland’s lead and allow all pharmacist immunisers, regardless of practice setting, to administer more vaccines to more Australians.”

Media contact:   Georgia Clarke   M: 0480 099 798  E: georgia.clarke@psa.org.au