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

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 27/02/2024
  • 05:00
Dementia Australia

You only get one brain: Wally Lewis joins 20-strong delegation to Canberra calling for CTE services, education and awareness raising

Rugby league titan, Wally Lewis AM will today be joined by a 20-strong delegation of people living with probable CTE, (chronic traumatic encephalopathy – a form of dementia) carers and researchers who will meet with parliamentarians in Canberra to share their experience of CTE. “You only get one brain,” Mr Lewis said. “I’m sharing my experience of living with probable CTE and proudly working with the Concussion and CTE Coalition, calling for the Federal Government to fund support services and a national awareness and education program. “We need to teach the players from the grassroots level to play the game…

  • Environment, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 27/02/2024
  • 05:00
Climate Media Centre

TALENT ALERT | Climate pollution threatens homes and lives in southern states

Extreme heat and dangerous bushfire conditions continue to threaten lives and homes across southern Australia this week. As bushfires intensify in regional Victoria, air heavy with smoke and particulates is spreading across metropolitan Melbourne and people across South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria swelter through another heatwave. According to research commissioned by the Human Health and Social Impacts Research Node, “bushfire smoke is a major ongoing environmental hazard in Australia”. The study found that short-term exposure to bushfire particulate pollution was associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality in those over 65 years old. To arrange interviews, please contact:…

  • Disability, Medical Health Aged Care
  • 26/02/2024
  • 23:25
Mr River Night, National Disability Sector Advocate

Disability Sector Outrage as Both Major Parties Snub Australia’s Biggest Disability and NDIS Related Event in History Coming Up this Week in Queensland

Available for Comment Radio – Live, Pre-recorded and Talk-back TV Print Mr River Night Leading National Disability Sector Advocate Co-founder at Developing Australian Communities…

  • 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.