NSW will be the first state in Australia to allow pharmacists to renew prescriptions for the contraceptive pill as part of a fast-tracked plan to make it easier for people to access important medications and treatments.
Under a re-elected NSW Liberal and Nationals Government it will be more convenient and cheaper for women to visit their pharmacist with consultations related to the contraceptive pill and UTI treatments to be free for a 12 month trial period.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said this pharmacy plan would transform healthcare with people able to book online to see a pharmacist or simply walk into their local pharmacy and get the care they need.
“This is about making it easier and quicker for people, particularly women, to access important prescription medications and treatments,” Mr Perrottet said.
“It’s harder than ever to get into a GP and that’s why these changes will make a real difference to people who need to access a range of prescriptions and treatments.
“It’s clear changes are needed at the federal level to help our GPs but NSW is not going to sit back and wait, instead we’re fast-tracking these important reforms to give people the care they need now.”
Under our pharmacy plan, the NSW Liberal and Nationals will:
Cover the cost of the patient consultation fee for the treatment of UTI and the contraceptive pill;
Commence the prescribing trial for the treatment of UTI on 1 April 2023; and
Accelerate the commencement of the trial for the renewal of oral contraceptive pill prescriptions to 1 July 2023 and allow pharmacists to extend an original script issued by a GP or nurse practitioner in the past 2 years.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said many pharmacists already help women in need of emergency contraception, so extending the scope of what they can prescribe enhances their role in providing this care.
“The community pharmacist has an important role to play in providing healthcare and allowing them to do more will benefit patients and help ease the pressure on other healthcare providers, including GPs and hospitals,” Mr Hazzard said.
Minister for Women, Regional Health and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said the trial will make a huge difference to women across the State, particularly those living in rural and regional NSW.
“The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has heard loud and clear that the process of getting a script for your UTI or your birth control pill needs to be made simpler,” Mrs Taylor said.
“We know that the GP shortages in the bush are blowing out appointment wait times to days and even weeks. This reform will ease the pressure on primary care and ensure women are able to get the help they need, when they need it.”
NSW Health will work with participating pharmacists who will be required to undertake additional training for these specific conditions to ensure safe prescribing practices.
The NSW Government has partnered with the University of Newcastle to design and implement the clinical trial.
Data gathered from the clinical trial will be used to inform any future changes to the role of pharmacists in the healthcare system.
Under the NSW Government’s pharmacy reforms, residents of NSW have also been able to access additional vaccinations from pharmacists since November 2022.