WA pharmacists to expand oral contraceptive access

28 May 2024


Western Australian pharmacists are set to be able to resupply oral contraceptives to women across the state as part of a new pilot program.

The Pharmacist Resupply of Oral Contraceptive Pills Pilot enables pharmacists to supply up to 12 months of a combination or progestogen-only contraceptive pill to women* between 18 and 39 years of age who have a stable history of using the pill for two years. Patients aged between 16 and 17 years can access up to four months’ supply as an extension to their original prescription.

Pharmacists are required to undergo additional training before commencing services.


Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) WA President Kristian Ray welcomed the Pilot announcement.

“WA has now joined the majority of Australian states and territories giving women greater autonomy and choice when it comes to accessing oral contraceptives,” Mr Ray said.

“It shows how pharmacists working together with GPs and other healthcare professionals can improve the care we provide, relieving strain on our healthcare systems in a safe and efficient way.


“This is a step forward, ensuring that reproductive care is accessible and safe.

“We applaud the Cook Government’s initiation of this pilot, recognising not only pharmacist’s role as medicine safety experts, but also underscoring the importance of a collaborative, patient-centred approach to healthcare delivery.”

With compulsory training now available, Mr Ray encouraged pharmacists across the state to take up the opportunity.

“The oral contraceptive pilot is a new opportunity for pharmacists to develop new skills, underpinned by quality education and training and best-practice care.

“The oral contraceptive pilot isn’t just about expanding our scope of practice, it’s about ensuring that every individual receives the care and support they need to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” Mr Ray concluded.


*Pharmacists providing contraception and sexual health advice for transgender and gender diverse individuals presumed female at birth must ensure the service is safe and accessible. It’s important to verify that transgender and gender diverse individuals seeking contraceptive care are actively engaged with appropriate sexual health services as needed. The resupply of OCP is permitted for transgender and gender diverse individuals, provided all other protocol conditions are met.

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

Pharmacists welcome another year of free influenza vaccines in WA Budget

10 May 2024

The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the 2024-25 Western Australia Budget delivered by Treasurer the Hon. Rita Saffioti MLA yesterday, with a record $3.2 billion investment in health and mental health across the state.

Importantly, the Budget also allocated $8 million for free flu vaccines in May and June 2025 for all Western Australians aged six months and older.

PSA Western Australia President Kristian Ray MPS said that the budget measure provides certainty for the state’s pharmacists.

“Knowing that the Cook Government will provide free influenza vaccines in 2025 gives pharmacists the opportunity to prepare early to meet increased demand,” Mr Ray said.

“Reducing barriers to vaccination is key to improving uptake, including making them low- or no-cost to consumers, and allowing families to get vaccinated together before the flu season begins.

“PSA continues to advocate for the pharmacist immuniser workforce to be fully utilised, delivering all vaccines to patients of all ages and in all settings in line with best practice. This means amending the existing authority and allowing pharmacist to deliver childhood vaccinations, including influenza vaccines, providing Western Australians greater choice and equitable options to access vaccines.

“Pharmacists have demonstrated competency in delivering vaccines safely and effectively and have made a significant contribution to public health by vaccinating countless Western Australians.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Cook Government to ensure that pharmacists are able to reach their full potential, as immunisers and as health care professionals,” Mr Ray concluded.

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

Top West Australian pharmacists recognised

Four outstanding pharmacists have been celebrated this evening as part of the annual Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Western Australia Excellence Awards held in Perth.

PSA’s Excellence Awards recognises local pharmacists involved in innovative practice, those who are striving to raise practice standards, and those who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice which others strive to emulate.

Awards were presented to:

  • Susan Shipway, WA Pharmacist of the Year
  • Maria Luz Ciancia, WA Intern Pharmacist of the Year
  • Jade Swarbrick, WA Early Career Pharmacist of the Year
  • Liza Seubert, WA Lifetime Achievement Award


PSA Western Australia President Kristian Ray MPS congratulated the award recipients.

“Pharmacists are making significant contributions to the health sector, and Western Australia is home to some of the best,” Mr Ray said.

“The pharmacists recognised by the PSA Excellence Awards represent the dedication of great pharmacists. We are proud to recognise them for their ongoing contributions to the profession and to the health of their communities.

“On behalf of PSA and all West Australian pharmacists, congratulations to the 2024 award recipients,” Mr Ray concluded.


Media notes

The WA Pharmacist of the Year is Susan Shipway

Susan Shipway is a hospital pharmacist at Rockingham General Hospital, specialising in oncology and haematology. She recently established a unique pharmacist-led telehealth remote service to patients living in regional Western Australia as part of a PSA partnered non-dispensing pharmacists in general practice heart failure program with the WA Primary Health Alliance.

Sue has strengthened ties between Midwest Aero and Geraldton Hospital and local specialists, having met with the cardiology team at Geraldton Hospital to improve transitions of care. She has initiated heart failure medication optimisation and titration plans to support the GPs within Midwest Aero Medical to ensure patients with heart failure are receiving optimal treatment for their heart failure. She has also developed heart failure fluid balance plans for patients to self-manage their diuretics.

By utilising telehealth to provide heart failure reviews for patients newly discharged, diagnosed or that have previously been identified as living with heart failure, Sue proactively educate patients about the condition. Investigating how the patient is managing by explaining possible and current symptoms and why patients suffer these, is imperative to practising truly patient-centred care.

This is the first time a remote service has been offered to patients living in a regional area, keeping heart failure patients out of hospital by enabling them to manage their condition more effectively.

The WA Intern Pharmacist of the Year is Maria Luz Ciancia

Maria Luz Ciancia spent five years studying pharmacy in Argentina before making the move to Australia. After undertaking exams to revalidate her degree, Maria undertook her internship with Chemist Warehouse in Perth.

At the end of her intern year, Maria developed a mental health campaign to support people suffering from depression in Western Australia. The campaign focused on assessing risk factors, prevention of adverse medication event, and empowering patients to achieve the best practice in medicines management through the implementation of proven and sustainable strategies integrated across all healthcare settings.


The WA Early Career Pharmacist of the Year is Jade Swarbrick

Jade Swarbrick began her pharmacy career as a community pharmacist at Amcal Como after graduating with a Master of Pharmacy in 2018. In 2021 she became credentialed and in 2022 she completed a Graduate Certificate in Clinical Pharmacy at Monash University. Wanting to discover where pharmacy could take her and gain experience in a variety of diverse roles Jade spent time working as a hospital pharmacist at Joondalup Hospital & Northam Hospital, tutoring compounding labs at Curtin University, completing HMRs in community, working in RACFs, and until it’s unfortunate end – working as an educational visitor with NPS MedicineWise.

Since early 2023 Jade has been a GP pharmacist at Mead Medical, as part of the WA Primary Health Alliance non-dispensing pharmacists in general practice program.

She quickly established a pharmacist role at Mead Medical conducting medication reviews as part of chronic disease management appointments; as well as leading several other projects to improve chronic disease management and quality use of medications.

Jade has been recognised in this role as consistently and significantly contributing to improved patient outcomes – and is a highly respected and valued member of the Mead Medical team. She has found her passion in this setting; and is dedicated to advocating for the role of pharmacists in general practice, contributing to the community of practice and helping to mentor pharmacists new to the position.

More recently, Jade has also joined the CoNeCT MHE (Complex Needs Coordination Team – Mental Health Expansion) team as a Care Coordinator. Working with the most frequent emergency department presenters across the Perth-wide hospital services.

Bringing her advanced clinical knowledge, and experience working across the spectrum of healthcare settings she has helped to demonstrate the invaluable role pharmacists can have in multidisciplinary care coordination roles within WA Health.

Between these roles Jade has found her pharmacist niche – providing holistic, patient centred care, optimizing management of patients physical and mental health and advocating for patients experiencing psychosocial barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare.


The WA Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Associate Professor Liza Seubert FPS

Associate Professor Liza Seubert is a respected figure in the pharmacy profession, earning recognition for her unwavering dedication and transformative contributions. With a career spanning several decades, Liza’s journey began in community pharmacy, moving to the Pharmaceutical Council of Western Australia and Ahpra, and finally to academia at the University of Western Australia.

Throughout her career, Liza’s journey has been marked by innovation and leadership. After establishing herself as a pharmacist, she ventured into ownership and introduced pioneering service delivery models at her pharmacy, setting a precedent for personalised care and medication reviews. Her innovative approach garnered praise, with prominent individuals like Premier Geoff Gallop acknowledging her endeavours.

Liza’s impact extends beyond community pharmacy. Recognizing the importance of education and mentorship, she founded Viva Voce tutoring service, fostering confidence and capability in interns for their final oral exams. Her commitment to education led her to roles at the Pharmaceutical Council of Western Australia with the intern training program and later at the University of Western Australia in the Master of Pharmacy program.

At UWA, Liza’s compassion and commitment to social accountability have distinguished her as a true leader. In her 40’s she embarked on a PhD which researched ways to enhance information exchange during over-the-counter consultations while working full time as an academic. Her research has informed curriculum development and accreditation standards nationwide, with further impact in the new PSA Professional Practice Standards and the updated FIP Global Competency Framework.

She has transformed the learning experience of students in the Master of Pharmacy at UWA with an innovative Courage, Connection and Resilience curriculum to graduate pharmacists with the human skills to thrive in the dynamic and evolving pharmacy profession.

Liza represents the Council of Pharmacy Schools of Australia and New Zealand on the steering committee of the Leaders in Indigenous Pharmacy Profession Education (LIPPE) Network. This network is developing pharmacist education to enable culturally safe pharmacy practice.

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

WA pharmacists welcome free influenza vaccine program

3 April 2024


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the announcement of state-wide free influenza vaccinations for all Western Australians, making it the second state to fund a similar program for 2024.

Premier Roger Cook and Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson announced the funded program yesterday, urging residents to get their vaccine.

PSA Western Australia President Kristian Ray MPS also encouraged the community to access their vaccine ahead of the flu season.

“Removing cost barriers and giving West Australians greater access to vaccines through community pharmacies is a welcome first step to improving vaccine uptake,” Mr Ray said.

“It’s easy to become complacent and not keep up with annual flu shots, but immunisation remains the best protection against severe influenza.

“In 2023 we only saw 32 per cent of eligible people in Western Australia get their vaccine, this year we are hoping that figure will be much higher.

“I strongly urge all West Australians to speak to their pharmacist about the influenza vaccine and whether its appropriate for you and your family this flu season,” Mr Ray concluded.


Free influenza vaccines for all Western Australians will be available from community pharmacists, general practitioners and Aboriginal Health Services during the months of May and June.

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

WA women to have access to UTI care through pharmacists

4 August 2023


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the West Australian Government’s commitment to improving access to care for thousands of women suffering from urinary tract infections each year.


From today, 4 August 2023, pharmacists who have undergone specific training will be able to prescribe antibiotics for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in patients aged 18 to 65 years old. The training is now available to all WA pharmacists.


PSA Western Australia President Kristian Ray welcomed the move, saying that patient’s access to care should be front of mind.


“Pharmacists are well positioned to play a greater role in primary health care and will make UTI treatments more accessible for more West Australians,” Mr Ray said.


“There are hundreds of thousands of women living in Western Australia that will benefit from this policy, particularly in rural and remote WA where there are significant barriers to accessing timely care.


“This program is about improving access to care where it is clinically appropriate, and working with the rest of the primary care team to promote a collaborative care model for Western Australians.


“There are robust referral pathways in place for patients who suffer from recurring UTIs, or might fall outside of the clinical inclusion criteria.


“As some of the most accessible healthcare professionals, pharmacists play a vital role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities.


“As pharmacists, we are committed to working collaboratively with the entire health sector to deliver best outcomes for patients.


“I am looking forward to working closely with the Government to ensure the success of the program, improving access to safe, timely care,” Mr Ray concluded.


The PSA training program Managing Uncomplicated Cystitis (Urinary Tract Infection) is now available to all WA pharmacists. More information is available here.


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