Pharmacy Board of Australia - Pharmacy Board releases revised guidelines for pharmacists
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Pharmacy Board releases revised guidelines for pharmacists

02 Sep 2015

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) has released revised guidelines that provide guidance to the profession on a range of issues.

Pharmacists are urged to read the revised guidelines published today:

  • Guidelines for dispensing of medicines 
  • Guidelines on practice-specific issues
    • Guideline 1 Reference texts for pharmacists
  • Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines, and 
  • Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists.

The guidelines were subject to wide-ranging consultation and will take effect on 7 December 2015. They have been published now so pharmacists can become familiar with their content before implementation.

Board Chair William Kelly said obvious changes included renaming the titles of guidelines to better reflect content, and restructuring of some of the guidelines for ease of reading.

‘Pharmacists are expected to review the new guidelines and familiarise themselves with all changes to ensure they comply in their practice from 7 December,’ Mr Kelly said.

Under section 41 of the National Law1, Board guidelines can be used in disciplinary proceedings under the National Law or law of a co-regulatory jurisdiction, as evidence of what constitutes appropriate professional conduct or practice for pharmacists.

When considering notifications (complaints) against pharmacists, the Board may give consideration to whether a breach to Board guidelines has taken place.

Some of the changes to the guidelines include:

Guidelines for dispensing of medicines

  • Guideline 5 Extemporaneous dispensing has been removed from the guidelines and published as a separate set of guidelines titled Guidelines on compounding of medicines
  • Inclusion of a new guideline, Guideline 9.2 Protection of electronic data, which addresses the specific risks to pharmacists’ electronically stored data. 
  • Further guidance on the use of scanners when dispensing medicines in Guideline 10.1 Scanners.

Guidelines on practice-specific issues

  • Additional guidance on the provision of complementary and alternative medicines at a pharmacy in Guideline 5 Complementary and alternative medicines, including guidance that pharmacists:
    • should provide products of proven safety and quality 
    • should provide relevant accompanying advice to assist patients in making an informed choice, and 
    • where appropriate should record the supply.

Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines

  • These guidelines provide additional guidance, some of which includes:
    • labelling of dose administration aids (DAAs) 
    • packing of DAAs by a third-party 
    • supply of oral cytotoxic and other hazardous medicines into DAAs, and 
    • initiation of periodic administration of a dispensed medicine.

Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists

  • These guidelines reflect the current legislative requirements in relation to the registration type that proprietors must hold in a jurisdiction. This is supported by a fact sheet Registration type required by proprietor pharmacists (replaces the retired statement Clarification on registration type required by proprietors of pharmacies), published on the Board’s website. 
  • Provision of additional guidance on the responsibilities of proprietor pharmacists, including those relating to advertising, and facilitating employee pharmacists to meet the Board’s registration standards.

The revised guidelines are available in the Codes and guidelines section of this website.

Document PDF Accessible format Date of effect
Guidelines for dispensing of medicines PDF (114KB) Word version 
From 7 December 2015
Guidelines on practice-specific issues PDF (59.5KB) Word version 
From 7 December 2015
Guidelines on dose administration aids and staged supply of dispensed medicines PDF (74.4KB) Word version 
From 7 December 2015
Guidelines for proprietor pharmacists PDF (52.2KB) Word version 
From 7 December 2015

For more information

  • Lodge an online enquiry form
  • For registration enquiries: 1300 419 495 (within Australia) +61 3 9275 9009 (overseas callers) 
  • For media enquiries: (03) 8708 9200

1The Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, as in force in each state and territory (the National Law).

Page reviewed 2/09/2015