North Queensland Pharmacy Pilot announcement

North queensland pharmacy pilot announcement website image

Queensland pharmacists may be aware of the recent announcement from Queensland Health offering community pharmacists and community pharmacy owners the opportunity to make an expression of interest to participate in the North Queensland Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot (the Pilot). It is a research pilot to investigate an expansion in the scope of pharmacist practice through QCPP-accredited pharmacies in North Queensland.

Pharmacists and pharmacies within 37 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in North Queensland are eligible to participate. The Pilot area includes Mackay LGA and extends west to the border and north to Cape York and the Torres Strait region.

PDL continues to support the profession and members in the provision of professional services. PDL representatives have provided input to Queensland Health regarding risk management for this service.

For those pharmacists considering an application to join the pilot, PDL is pleased to state the following:

The PDL Master Policy automatically includes professional indemnity cover for members providing this service in line with the approved guidelines.

More information about the Pilot can be found on the Queensland Health website under North Queensland Community Pharmacy Scope of Practice Pilot.

Information regarding expressions of interest for pharmacists and pharmacy owners can be found in the Recruitment section on the Queensland Health website. Expressions of interest close at 23.59 AEST, Wednesday 22 March 2023.

Further details:

  • Service can only be provided by registered pharmacists who have successfully completed the education and training and consented to the pilot guidelines. (Note: interns will not be able to undertake the learning in practice component and finalise the QUT module until they have attained general registration)
  • Service is only available from community pharmacies with current QCPP accreditation in the listed LGAs.
  • As part of the later registration process, individual pharmacists must confirm their indemnity insurance policy covers this service. The PDL Master Policy automatically provides cover for this service. Members with cover offered by the PDL Master Policy do NOT need to advise PDL of participation in the pilot program.
  • Pharmacy business owners must confirm their business insurance policy provides cover for the business.
  • Any community pharmacy owner with an individual PDL Master policy has personal cover for their participation in the Pilot. However, they will need to confirm insurance cover for the business entity with the pharmacy insurer.

QScript compliance audits

All pharmacists practising in Queensland should be aware of their obligations to check QScript when dispensing a monitored medicine. Late last year Queensland Health announced in the QScript update December 2022 that proactive monitoring for compliance would commence from 1 January 2023.

PDL is aware of a small number of pharmacists who have received compliance notices from Queensland Health. Some of these relate to incorrect prescriber or patient details being recorded in the dispensing software and therefore captured in the QScript system. These errors can cause concern for prescribers, pharmacists and regulators and PDL encourages pharmacists to maintain accuracy during prescription data entry.

Non-compliance regarding supply of monitored medicines is the other area of regulatory activity. PDL encourages pharmacists to always supply monitored medicines in line with the Medicines and Poisons Act and the Medicines and Poisons (Medicines) Regulation.

PDL would like to remind newly graduated pharmacists undertaking internships of their obligations to check QScript when dispensing a monitored medicine. Queensland Health has produced some useful fact sheets regarding pharmacists’ obligations when undertaking certain activities with monitored medicines. The Pharmaceutical professions and QScript December 2022 fact sheet and the Monitored Medicines legal obligations fact sheet are valuable resources to review and ensure all pharmacists are practising in compliance with the legislation.

These and other useful fact sheets to help pharmacists understand the requirements of the Medicines and Poisons Act 2019 and its regulations are available.

For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7.