A dozen Hunter pharmacies able to prescribe first GP medications from today

About a dozen pharmacists in the Hunter are participating in the NSW Government’s community pharmacy prescribing trial that gets underway today.

The first stage of the trial is pharmacists being able to prescribe treatment for women for uncomplicated urinary tract infections.

From July 2023, the trial will be expanded to include pharmacists being able to resupply the oral contraceptive pill as long as you’ve had the prescription issued by a GP in the last two years and are taking the pill for contraceptive purposes only.

The University of Newcastle is helping the government lead the trial working with GPs, infectious disease clinicians, pharmacists and the like to ensure the trial is delivered safely.

Pharmacist and lead researcher Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin said the trial has been granted ethics approval and includes several safeguards to ensure that women needing care for UTIs are afforded safe, appropriate and timely access to treatment.

“This trial is about strengthening the health system as a whole, including collaboration and ensuring GPs are informed when their patient sees a pharmacist. Our research team is interested in providing robust evidence, particularly how this trial helps women living in regional and rural NSW to gain better access to the health care they need,” Dr Dineen-Griffin said.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said around 100 community pharmacies across the state will participate in this first stage of the trial.

“We want to ensure this is done so safely – and we are determined to get it right.

“This will not only improve access to medications – but it will also alleviate the pressure on GPs and primary care services.

“We will continue to work closely with the Commonwealth Government on innovative models of care that makes healthcare more accessible for the community.”

You can find a list of locations here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/Pages/pharmacy-trial-locations.aspx