Almost 1,000 pharmacies in NSW can now resupply the oral contraceptive pill.
It means eligible patients can access the pill without the need for a GP appointment. The initiative is part of a trial by the NSW Government.
To access resupplies of the pill at one of the nearly 1,000 participating pharmacies, patients must meet certain conditions. It applies to those aged between 18 and 35 who have been prescribed oral contraceptives in the last two years.
The trial follows a similar recent initiative allowing pharmacists to prescribe UTI medication.
It will save patients needing to pay for a GP consultation to receive a repeat script.
NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said the “innovative” trial was “making it easier for people to access medicines [and] alleviating pressure on our GPs and primary care services”.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) said it supported improving patient access to contraceptives.
Pharmacists participating in the trial must inform GPs when they issue a resupply of the pill for a patient.
The RACGP also said resupplies issued under the initiative would not be eligible for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This subsidises the cost of some medications.
RACGP NSW Chair, Professor Charlotte Hespe, told TDA she was concerned over the potential for patients to miss out on receiving “appropriate health care advice around the supply of their pill”.
She also warned that patients using the resupply service risked missing the opportunity for important sexual, mental, and reproductive health screenings with their GPs.