Pharmacy Board of Australia - Pharmacist prescribing position statement update
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Pharmacist prescribing position statement update

20 Dec 2023

 Key points
  • The Pharmacy Board of Australia reconfirms it has no regulatory barriers in place for pharmacists to participate in public health initiatives approved by states and territories
  • The Board has issued an update to its 2019 position statement

The Board’s pharmacist prescribing position statement update

The Pharmacy Board of Australia (the Board) has reconfirmed it has no regulatory barriers in place for pharmacists to participate in public health initiatives approved by states and territories.

Today the Board has published an update to its 2019 position statement on pharmacist prescribing.

Since the previous position statement was issued by the Board in October 2019, there have been numerous changes to state and territory medicines and poisons legislation resulting in increased public access to health services delivered by pharmacists, including administering a wider range of vaccines and supplying medications that do not require prescriptions.

In forming its position, the Board has monitored state and territory legislated pilots, trials, and health programs involving pharmacists and engaged extensively with state and territory health departments.

Under the National Law, the Board registers pharmacists who are qualified and competent to practise. Pharmacists must hold suitable pharmacy qualifications as approved by the Board, meet registration standards and other criteria, including completing their annual continuing professional development (CPD) obligations and maintaining recency of practice.

Pharmacists participating in the pilots, trials and health programs authorised by states and territories are not required by the Board to complete any additional prescribing qualifications or other requirements to maintain their registration.

Pharmacy Board of Australia Chair Brett Simmonds said:

‘The Board is pleased to reconfirm its position statement of 2019 that pharmacists are able to participate in pilots, trials and health programs in the jurisdiction in which they practise by completing any locally required education as CPD without any additional requirements from the Board.

‘Pharmacy plays a vital role in the provision of health services and pharmacists provide greater access to the public for these important health interventions.

‘The Board also believes there is scope for state and territories to consider further expansions of pharmacy services to address identified areas of public need and such changes to local laws combined with a suitable clinical governance framework can ensure pharmacists can deliver additional services safely.

‘The Board also maintains its view from the 2019 position statement that future proposals for broader and more complex prescribing may reach the threshold for additional regulation and any such proposal would require collaboration between governments, stakeholders, the public the profession and the Board,’ he said.

The Board will continue to work with government, stakeholders, and the public to explore the impact of future developments in health service delivery by pharmacists to support safe practice in the public interest.

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Page reviewed 20/12/2023