Rollout begins for Australian-first pharmacy pilot

Published Wednesday, 24 April, 2024 at 06:00 PM


The Honourable Steven Miles

Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman


  • An Australian-first pharmacy pilot to improve access to healthcare is now underway in north Queensland.  
  • This will allow participating pharmacists to treat and prescribe medicines for a range of common health conditions.
  • The pilot will expand across the state over the next 12 months as more pharmacists complete the required education and training programs.

A new pilot that will expand the health services available through Queensland’s community pharmacies  commenced today (24 April).

Health Minister Shannon Fentiman visited Alive Pharmacy Warehouse in Cairns which is one of the pharmacies that is participating in the Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

This innovative Australian-first pilot will provide greater access to healthcare for common health conditions, wellbeing services and chronic disease programs.

Pharmacists are required to complete additional education and training to ensure they are safely able to manage all conditions included in the pilot.

The pilot will expand across the state over the next 12 months as more pharmacists complete the required education and training program and will continue until June 2026.

The pilot 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

As of today, ten pharmacists and six pharmacies had been approved to participate in the pilot. These numbers are expected to increase in the coming days and weeks as clinicians and practices finalise their training, including one in Sarina.

The pilot follows the Queensland Government’s 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.

For more information on the services provided and participating pharmacies, visit: Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government (

Quotes attributable to Premier Steven Miles:

 “Our Government is committed to making sure Queenslanders can access good quality healthcare, no matter where they live across the state.

“We know our hardworking pharmacists are more than capable to deliver these services – for common health conditions - and divert people away from our emergency departments and GPs.

“I am really proud that Queensland is leading the nation with this initiative.” 

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health, Mental Health and Ambulance Services and Minister for Women Shannon Fentiman:

“We are making it easier for Queenslanders to get the care they need quicker and closer to home.

“Our pharmacists are highly trained and regulated healthcare professionals.

“It’s why the Miles Government made a commitment to implement this pilot that allows pharmacists to practice to their full scope.

“Receiving treatment and medication for common health conditions without having to make an appointment with a GP will be a gamechanger for so 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.

“It’s about giving Queenslanders more choice and more access to healthcare.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Cairns Michael Healy:

“All the LNP do is cut our health heroes and trash the incredible work they do across this state.

“Only the Miles Labor Government can be trusted to innovate our health system to ensure it’s accessible for Queenslanders, no matter where they live.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt:

“This is incredible news for families and those people seeking additional healthcare options.

“Getting an appointment at the doctor at the time you need it can be tough, so it’s great that pharmacists will be able to help alleviate some of that demand.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Barron River Craig Crawford:

 “We know people are struggling to book appointments with their GP.

“This new program means you won’t need a GP appointment in order to access pharmacy treatments.”

 Quotes attributable to Member for Cook Cynthia Lui:

“This is all about expanding access to healthcare, so that our communities can access the healthcare they need, when they need it.

“I look forward to more pharmacists and pharmacies jumping on board, strengthening our health system in the Torres and Cape.” 

 Quotes attributable to Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Queensland Branch President Shane MacDonald:

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

“Empowering pharmacists to manage common acute conditions and better support chronic disease management in community pharmacies is a progressive step towards enhancing healthcare accessibility.”

Quotes attributable to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Queensland Branch President Chris Owen:

“The pilot will relieve pressure on hospital emergency departments and improve healthcare access and outcomes for Queenslanders.

“We extend our gratitude to Minister Fentiman and the Queensland Government for their leadership in bringing the pilot to fruition and we look forward to working with the government to ensure its success for the benefit of Queensland patients."