Queensland scope of practice pilot launches

Pharmacist manager James Buckley MPS

Queenslanders are set to have greater access to high-quality, primary healthcare services from today (24 April 2024) under the state government’s Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

Under the Pilot, trained pharmacists will be able to prescribe for a range of common conditions and better support patients with medication management through therapeutic adaptation and substitution, and continued dispensing.

PSA Queensland President Shane MacDonald welcomed Health Minister Shannon Fentiman’s announcement today in Cairns.​

‘The 2020 election commitment to work with PSA, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and other stakeholders to implement this Pilot is finally being realised,’ he said.

‘It has been a long journey, and we thank the government for the collaborating with the profession to execute this important work.

‘We must also acknowledge the pioneering pharmacists who, amidst their professional workload and family responsibilities, have dedicated themselves to undertake the extensive education program required to participate.’

Queensland is already leading the nation on pharmacist vaccination scope, delivering more vaccines to more patients, and improving vaccine coverage across the state, said Mr MacDonald.

‘This is a vote of confidence from the Queensland Government in the skills and expertise of our pharmacists to continue delivering safe and accessible primary health care to Queenslanders,’ he said.​

‘Empowering pharmacists to manage common acute conditions and better support chronic disease management in community pharmacies is a progressive step towards enhancing healthcare accessibility. Piloting this initiative in Queensland will pave the way for nation-wide impact.’

​Pharmacists are already getting involved

Queensland PSA Branch Committee member and Pharmacy Partner at LiveLife Pharmacy Macrossan Street (Port Douglas), James Buckley is one of the first pharmacists to complete the training and be authorised to participate.

‘I am really excited to be able to support my local community to have better access to care. Pharmacists are so accessible and our pharmacies are open late and on weekends.  It just makes sense to use us to the top of our scope.’

PSA is currently working with the government to become an approved training provider to support the state-wide roll out of the Pilot.

Pilot services

Pharmacists who are approved participate in the Pilot are able to provide additional services that can be grouped into three categories:

1. Medication management services including therapeutic adaptation, therapeutic substitution and continued dispensing.

2. Autonomous prescribing for specified acute common conditions and health and wellbeing services: 

  • gastro-oesophageal reflux and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • acute nausea and vomiting
  • allergic and nonallergic rhinitis
  • impetigo
  • herpes zoster (shingles)
  • mild to moderate atopic dermatitis
  • acute exacerbations of mild plaque psoriasis
  • mild to moderate acne
  • acute wound management
  • acute diffuse otitis externa
  • acute otitis media
  • acute mild musculoskeletal pain and inflammation
  • smoking cessation
  • hormonal contraception
  • oral health screening and fluoride application
  • travel health
  • management of overweight and obesity.

3. Protocol/structured prescribing as part of a chronic disease management program: 

  • Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Program for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia
  • Improved Asthma (and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction) Symptom Program
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Monitoring Program.

Visit Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au) to find out more.