Skip to content
Medical Health Aged Care

GPs warn against expanding pharmacy prescribing pilot

Royal Australian College of GPs 2 mins read

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has re-iterated its concern about the North Queensland Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot in light of the Government’s announcement today of the pilot’s expansion.

Of concern is the fact that the initial North Queensland pilot, first announced early last year, had not yet begun, let alone been evaluated.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins spoke out against the expansion.

“Patient safety must come first,” she said.

GPs value the work of pharmacists in communities around Queensland, and we back team-based models of care in which a range of healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, maximise the use of their skills. It would have made more sense to wait for the recommendations from the federal scope of practice review before expanding the pilot.”

RACGP Vice President and Queensland Chair, Dr Bruce Willett, said that the decision raises concerns about evaluation processes for health reforms.

“If a pilot is being extended before it has been started, let alone appropriately evaluated, then it does raise concerns about the importance of properly evaluating patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness in the decision-making processes,” he said.

“This pilot also creates a strong conflict of interest. Pharmacists will be writing prescriptions for various conditions, and then selling patients the medications based on their recommendations. There is a reason why we have always separated the prescribing and dispensing of medications.

“Something else that must be front of mind is the fact that Queensland is facing a severe shortage of pharmacists. The net result of this pilot is likely to be that it will be not only more difficult to see your GP, as they try and track down what the pharmacist is doing, it will also be more difficult to access your medications because many pharmacists will be busy doing other work. Healthcare reform needs to make our system safer and more efficient, we should not be pursuing a Band-Aid approach.”


RACGP spokespeople are available for interview.

About us:

About the RACGP

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is the peak representative organisation for general practice, the backbone of Australia’s health system. We set the standards for general practice, facilitate lifelong learning for GPs, connect the general practice community, and advocate for better health and wellbeing for all Australians.

Visit To unsubscribe from RACGP media releases, click here.

Contact details:

John Ronan
Media Adviser

Ally Francis
Media Adviser

Stuart Winthrope
Media Officer


Email: (we will respond promptly to all requests for interview).

Follow us on Twitter: @RACGP and Facebook.

More from this category

  • Government Federal, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 16/06/2024
  • 08:00

Unions move to stop wage theft of disability workers

Unions will on Monday move to stop dodgy NDIS providers stealing $16,000 a year from dedicated disability support workers by paying them below the minimum wage. The ASU, with support from the AWU, UWU and HSU, is applying to the Fair Work Commission to ensure providers pay staff at least the minimum wage for social and community services employees, as they are funded to do. About 10 per cent of providers have been deliberately misclassifying up to 30,000 NDIS workers as home care workers, which has a lower award rate, and pocketing the difference. The difference in the hourly rates…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 15/06/2024
  • 04:30
Dementia Australia

Join us TODAY for Hunter Walk & Jog

What: Dementia Australia’sHunterMemory Walk & Jog. When: Saturday 15 June from 7.30am. Who: More than 750 locals participating on the day. People who have been impacted by dementia, their family, friends and carers. Where: Speers Point Park, Speers Point For more information visit: Walk or jog with us. We are in this together. Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 14/06/2024
  • 22:07
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Takeda Signs Option Agreement with Ascentage Pharma to Enter into Exclusive Global License for Olverembatinib, a Third-Generation BCR-ABL Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor (TKI)

− Takeda to Receive Exclusive Option to License Global Rights to Olverembatinib in All Territories Outside of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.