SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- A 12-month pilot in Victoria from October 2023 to October 2024 allows people to receive some treatments at a local pharmacy without needing to see a doctor to get a prescription.
- You can visit a pharmacy for resupply of the contraceptive pill, treatment for uncomplicated urinary tract infections, treatment for shingles and flare up of mild plaque psoriasis or to access travel health advice and vaccinations.
- Please contact the pharmacy before your visit to check arrangements for consultations.
About the Community Pharmacist Pilot
Victoria is piloting a new approach to making healthcare more accessible.
A 12-month pilot is allowing Victorians to receive some treatments at a local pharmacy without needing to see a doctor to get a prescription first.
It will benefit many people, in particular women and people living in areas where it is hard to get a general practitioner (GP) appointment.
During this time you can attend a pharmacy for treatment of some common health conditions:
- Treatment for (aged 18 years and over)
- Treatment for flare-up of mild (aged 18 years or over)
- Women (16 - 50) can request a resupply of a without needing a prescription.
- Women (18 - 65 years) with uncomplicated can access antibiotics for treatment.
- Pharmacist immunisers can provide some and more health vaccines including , , and .
Patient safety during the Community Pharmacist Pilot
Pharmacies have met strict requirements to join in the pilot.
As part of the pilot, pharmacists are doing further training in each service they offer. For example, training about supplying antibiotics for urinary tract infections or identifying and providing the vaccinations you need for travel.
The pharmacists will follow clinical protocols to guide their decision-making. These protocols have been developed by the Victorian Department of Health in consultation with medical and pharmacy experts and are based on international best practice.
Eligibility for the Community Pharmacist Pilot service
Participating pharmacists will ask you questions before and during your consultation to help them decide if they can treat you. Your age, your sex and the details of your condition and medical history will help the pharmacist determine whether they can treat you or whether you need a referral.
A referral is usually a letter to another healthcare provider to ask them to see you. The pharmacist will refer you to your doctor or another healthcare provider if they think that is your best option.
People with or without a Medicare card and international students are eligible to seek a service under the pilot.
What to expect at the Community Pharmacist Pilot
- To ensure you receive safe and appropriate care, your pharmacist will meet with you in a private consulting room.
- They will explain the pilot and ask for your consent to be part of the pilot and to have your information collected.
- They will ask you questions about the health service you need to help them decided if they can treat you or if they need to refer you to a doctor.
- Following your treatment, if you provided your contact details to your pharmacist during the consultation, you will receive an SMS or an email from the Department of Health in 7 days to check how your treatment went.
If you are worried about your condition, medications, side effects or have other concerns, you should see your usual doctor.
While the pharmacist can help you with specific conditions during the pilot, your doctor is still the best person to see about your overall health and any serious health conditions.
Cost to use Community Pharmacist Pilot services
There are no charges to see the pharmacist to receive care for:
- flare-up of mild plaque psoriasis
- urinary tract infections
- resupply of the contraceptive pill.
All Australian residents with a current Medicare card can receive medicines supplied under the pilot at the same price as if they had a prescription. This includes concession card holders and those eligible for subsidised medicine under the Closing the Gap program.
Costs of medicines supplied as part of the pilot will not contribute to your Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) Safety Net threshold. If this is important to you, you may prefer to see a doctor instead of continuing with the pharmacist consultation.
Travel healthcare consultations and vaccinations and costs
For travel healthcare consultations and vaccinations, pharmacies may charge a consultation fee, and you will be charged the cost of any vaccines given for a travel health or other vaccination consultation.
The cost of the consultation and the vaccines may vary between pharmacies.
The pharmacist will discuss all fees with you before starting the consultation and before giving any vaccines.
Find a Community Pharmacist Pilot service
Not all pharmacies are participating in the pilot.
Search the map for a participating pharmacy or speak to your local pharmacy or doctor.
Please contact the pharmacy before your visit to check arrangements for consultations.
How to access treatment at a Community Pharmacist Pilot service
Some pharmacies will require a booking for a consultation with a pharmacist.
Others will allow walk-in consultations, or a combination of both.
Some will only offer the pilot services at set times, or on particular days.
Contact your local pharmacy or visit their website to check:
- what services are being offered under the pilot
- if a booking is required or if you can visit without making a booking.
Check the local signage in the pharmacy or ask them about the languages they can offer.
Preparing for your consultation at a Community Pharmacist Pilot service
Make sure you bring your Medicare card if you have one, and any concession cards you hold. It is also useful to have information about any medications you are taking.
If you are seeking more boxes of the contraceptive pill, you will need to bring your old prescription, or some of the medication in its box. A pharmacy may have a record of this information if it is the pharmacy you use regularly.
How your information will be used in the Community Pharmacist Pilot
Your pharmacist will collect information about you and your consultation in the same way your doctor keeps a record of your visit when you see them. This information is kept safely in the computer systems used by the pharmacy.
With your consent the information about your treatment can be shared with your My Health Record and your regular doctor (if you have one).
You can still receive treatment even if you do not consent to share your information with your My Health Record or your doctor.
The Victorian Department of Health will be evaluating the pilot to see if this is an effective way for people to get treatment for some common medical conditions.
You will be asked to consent to sharing information with the Department of Health to allow them to monitor and evaluate the pilot. The department will monitor the pilot using general information, but will not access any medical or identifying information on individual patients.
You will also be asked to consent to have your contact number and email address shared with the Department to assist with the evaluation.
If you do consent to this, you may be sent a survey to seek your feedback on the pilot and the services you received.
If you don’t want to be part of the evaluation, you can still receive treatment as part of the pilot.
Your pharmacist will explain the consents to you in detail and a patient information sheet will be available to help you make an informed choice.
Making a complaint about the Community Pharmacist Pilot
If you have a complaint, you can take the following steps to get the complaint resolved:
Discuss your complaint with a staff member from the community pharmacy where you received the service.
If the complaint cannot be resolved at Step 1, or the patient is dissatisfied with the outcome, they can choose one of the following ways to lodge a formal complaint with the department:
- Submit the complaint online via .
- Email our Feedback and complaints team via
- Mail: Health Feedback, GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
- Phone: . For more information, see our page