Women set to benefit from increased access to the pill
From today, women will be able to access resupplies of oral contraceptives from their pharmacist, as part of the second phase of the NSW Government’s statewide pharmacy prescribing trial.
More than 900 pharmacies across NSW will participate in the 12-month trial which will make it easier than ever for thousands of women to access a resupply of the pill.
The expanding statewide pharmacy trial will save women time, while trialling an innovative model of care that is showing strong potential, especially for regional and rural areas.
The initiative works to take the pressure off GPs with pharmacists partnering with general practice to support timely access to patient care.
In the first few months of the urinary tract infection (UTI) pharmacy prescribing trial, nearly 3,000 women were able to get faster and easier assessment and treatment by enabling pharmacists to take on this role.
Women will be eligible for resupply of oral contraceptive pills through their local participating pharmacy if they:
- Are aged 18 to 35 years old;
- Have had a past prescription for certain types of oral contraceptive pill issued in the previous two years;
- Are taking the pill for contraceptive purposes
Under the trial, the only out-of-pocket costs for women seeking a resupply of their pill will be for the medication they need. The NSW Government has also committed to providing $20 per consultation to participating pharmacists to support administration associated with the trial.
The ethics-approved clinical trial is being led by the University of Newcastle who are working closely with a multidisciplinary team including GPs, clinicians, pharmacists, rural clinicians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure the trial is safe for women.
More information about the clinical trial and for a list of community pharmacies participating in the trial, is available at https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/Pages/community-pharmacypilot.aspx.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Ryan Park:
“We are embracing new and more innovative ways to ensure people can access the important medicines they need, both safely and in a timely fashion.
“This initiative is not only making it easier for people to access medicines, it is also alleviating pressure on our GPs and primary care services.
“We are undertaking the necessary evaluations to ensure we get this right.”
Quotes attributable to Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin, University of Newcastle (pharmacist and lead researcher):
“The heart of the trial is about improving the health system as a whole and finding new ways to meet the evolving healthcare needs of the community.
“I am excited by today’s launch of the trial’s second phase, as early evidence from the first phase of the trial suggests we are seeing a very real benefit to patients through increasing the avenues available for treatment.”