More than 1000 pharmacies registered for prescribing trial

Matt Woodley

1/05/2023 5:02:39 PM

The clinical trial was originally due to begin in April but issues with ethics approval reportedly resulted in it being delayed.

Pharmacist prescribing medication.
The University of Newcastle is still in the process of having the trial added to the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.

Pharmacists in New South Wales will be able to independently diagnose ‘uncomplicated’ UTIs and prescribe antibiotics from next month, the state’s new government has confirmed.
The trial, which comes in the wake of a similar pilot program that drew controversy in Queensland, will also allow some pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives from July, despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) ruling out over-the-counter sales of the drug in 2021.
However, unlike Queensland’s pharmacy prescribing pilot, NSW Health has engaged the University of Newcastle to develop and register the scheme as a clinical trial with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR).
‘The University of Newcastle-led consortium is working with GPs, infectious disease clinicians, pharmacists, rural clinicians, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and CALD communities to deliver a clinical trial that is safe for patients,’ a spokesperson told newsGP when first approached in January.
‘The NSW Government is working with the University of Newcastle in relation to data linkage with emergency department, inpatient data, and other data such as MBS items for pathology testing or PBS dispensing.’
According to Nine Newspapers, delays involving the university’s ethics approval process have resulted in the UTI section of the trial being pushed back from its initial start date of 1 April.
And despite reports that the scheme is now due to begin next month, there is still no listing on ANZCTR, with NSW Health confirm that the university is ‘still in the process’ of registering the trial.
It means there is still limited information related to clinical outcomes and the online module participating pharmacists will need to complete, other than the spokesperson saying that ‘appropriate’ training will be an ‘essential requirement’ for pharmacist participation.
Nonetheless, GP and AMA NSW President Dr Michael Bonning has told reporters he is in favour of the trial, calling it significantly different to the pilot program labelled a success by Queensland Health. While fundamentally opposed to ‘open slather’ pharmacy prescribing, Dr Bonning is looking forward to the data it produces.
‘We don’t want more fragmentation of care, hence why we need to see a trial that considers all of the aspects of good patient care, not solely patient convenience,’ he told the ABC.
Victoria is also in the process of establishing a pharmacist prescribing scheme, while a South Australian Parliamentary Committee is looking into access to UTI treatment, with a view to potentially starting its own program.
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Dr George Al-Horani   2/05/2023 6:47:31 AM

NSW AMA president should comment and approve these trials as his personal opinion as an individual, not as an AMA president , because he doesn’t represent our opinion as AMA members .
They will all regret it when it’s too late , once we start to get a UTI - E. coli which Resistant to all simple antibiotics we have now . Soon we will need to import the strongest antibiotics to start managing our Ecoli UTI .
Unfortunately whoever approves these trials DOES NOT think about the future of our children .

Dr Greg Saville   2/05/2023 3:17:24 PM

What precisely is the problem that is being fixed by pharmacists prescribing?