Pilot provides pharmacists prescription powers

Elderly man with female pharmacist at chemist. | Newsreel
Queensland pharmacists can prescribe medicine for common health concerns under a new pilot program. | Photo: Yuri Accurs (iStock)

A pilot program allowing pharmacists to prescribe medicines for common health conditions is under way in North Queensland.

The Queensland Government’s Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot aims to provide greater access to healthcare for common health conditions, wellbeing services and chronic disease programs.

In an Australian-first, pharmacists will undergo additional training to ensure they can safely administer treatment.

State Health Minister Shannon Fentiman said the pilot would expand across Queensland over the next 12 months as more pharmacists completed the required training program.

The pilot, which runs until June 2026, enables pharmacists to treat and prescribe medicines for a wide range of health conditions and wellbeing services including:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Reflux.
  • Nasal congestion and hay fever.
  • Acne.
  • Eczema.
  • Mild psoriasis flare ups.
  • School sores.
  • Shingles.
  • Minor wounds.
  • Ear infections.
  • Mild pain and inflammation.
  • Support to quit smoking.
  • Hormonal contraception.
  • Oral health screening and fluoride application.
  • Travel health.
  • Management of weight and obesity.
  • Heart disease risk reduction (including blood pressure and cholesterol management).
  • Improved symptom management for people with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Asthma.

To date, 10 pharmacists and six pharmacies have been approved to participate in the pilot.

Minister Fentiman said the pilot followed the successful Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Pharmacy Pilot, which helped more than 10,000 women access treatment for uncomplicated UTIs through their local pharmacy.

This program has since been permanently implemented and is available at participating pharmacies.

Minister Fentiman said receiving treatment and medication for common health conditions without having to make an appointment with a doctor would be a gamechanger for many people.

“In a decentralised state like Queensland, it’s so important we continue to improve access to healthcare for Queenslanders, especially in rural and remote areas,” she said.

To find out about the services provided and participating pharmacies, visit the Queensland Government website.