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Clear pathway for pharmacist prescribing

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The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the release of the Pharmacy Board of Australia’s position statement on pharmacist prescribing.

The statement by the Board outlines a clear pathway and process to achieve autonomous pharmacist prescribing and the Pharmacy Guild urges the Board to proceed towards this objective in the interests of Australian healthcare consumers.

The Pharmacy Board found that there were no regulatory barriers in place for pharmacists to prescribe under a structured prescribing arrangement and prescribing under supervision, but that autonomous prescribing required additional regulation via an endorsement for scheduled medicines. This would require the Board to make an application to the Ministerial Council for approval of endorsement, and to develop a registration standard.

The Board noted that such an application could only occur after the completion of preparatory work to develop a case for autonomous prescribing. The Pharmacy Guild stands ready to assist in the development of this case.

In our response to the Pharmacy Board’s original paper on pharmacist prescribing, the Pharmacy Guild restricted our comments to autonomous prescribing as we see this as the only feasible option for improving medicines access and management.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, said:

“Quite clearly, autonomous pharmacist prescribing would improve access to treatment options for conditions that can be managed by a pharmacist – including after hours and on weekends when access to other health care professionals is limited or non-existent.

“If pharmacist prescribing is to contribute to the delivery of sustainable, responsive and affordable access to medicines then it has to be autonomous, and we should proceed with the work required to achieve this,” Mr Tambassis said.

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