Innovative pharmacy pilot to be expanded statewide

Published Monday, 25 September, 2023 at 02:14 PM

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

  • An Australian-first pharmacy pilot to improve consumer access to medications will be expanded to include all of Queensland.
  • All pharmacists across Queensland can apply to participate in the program.
  • Participating pharmacists will be able to administer a wider range of vaccines and prescribe medicines for common health conditions.
  • The expanded pilot follows the successful Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot.

The Queensland Government is continuing to take innovative steps to improve Queenslanders’ access to healthcare close to home.

A pilot enabling pharmacists to administer a wider range of vaccines and prescribe medicines for common health conditions will be expanded Queensland-wide.

The North Queensland Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot was initially planned to be implemented in only northern Queensland, from Mackay to the Torres Strait.

However, Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has announced the expanded pilot will now be rolled out across the state, meaning all Queenslanders, regardless of where they live, will have the option to access these important health care services.

The announcement comes as more Queenslanders struggle to access primary care, following a decade of under-investment by the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison federal governments.

Participating pharmacists will be able to administer more types of vaccines, and prescribe things such as:

  • The pill
  • Asthma medication
  • Nausea and vomiting medication
  • Nasal congestion and runny nose medication
  • Mild skin condition treatments
  • Some heart disease risk reduction
  • Support to quit smoking

This follows the 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.

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

“This nation-first pharmacy pilot is an innovative way to ensure Queenslanders have access to high-quality and cost-effective primary healthcare.

“I want all Queenslanders to benefit from innovative models of healthcare, which is why we are expanding this pilot state-wide.

“The UTI Pharmacy Pilot and international evidence shows that allowing pharmacists to prescribe for common conditions is a safe and efficient way to improve health outcomes.

“Pharmacists are highly trained and regulated healthcare professionals, and this pilot will ensure their expertise is used to its full scope.

“Pharmacy prescribing models of care are used effectively in other countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.

“This will also help address the impacts of workforce shortages and distribution problems, particularly in regional and rural communities.

“This program is designed to supplement, not replace, existing services and give consumers more choice.

“The Queensland pilot will be closely monitored and regularly evaluated.”

Quotes attributable to Rick Xynias, acting Queensland Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia:

“Today's announcement demonstrates that Queensland is leading the way for community pharmacists to practice to their full scope of training and underlines the critical role community pharmacists play within the primary healthcare network.

"Premier Palaszczuk and Minister Fentiman have shown great foresight and a true commitment to improving patients’ healthcare options with the expansion of the Pilot as more qualified community pharmacists will be available to safely treat everyday health conditions for all Queenslanders.

“Today's announcement will give patients what they deserve – timely access to safe treatment by qualified community pharmacists,”

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

“Pharmacists in Queensland are an integral part of the primary healthcare system, providing a range of services and access to care for all communities.

“The Minister’s announcement is a welcome step, allowing for a greater number of Queensland pharmacists to practise to their top of scope. This will result in improved access to care for patients.  


Almost 300 North Queensland pharmacists are currently completing additional training with pilot services due to commence in North Queensland in March 2024.

Recruitment of pharmacists for the expanded pilot will commence this year, with a phased roll out for training and commencement of pilot services over 2024 and 2025.

Participating pharmacists must complete additional training and have suitable consulting spaces that provide patient privacy.


Media contact: Phoenix Campbell 0439 949 719