The NSW Government-sponsored Pharmacy Trial for the extended supply of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) by community pharmacists commenced on 27 September 2023.
The trial aims to evaluate the implementation and impact of the provision of OCPs to applicable patients by approved pharmacists. The evaluation will consider patient safety, accessibility, patient acceptability and cost-effectiveness.
The University of Newcastle is leading the trial in association with the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, the University of New England, Charles Sturt University, The George Institute for Global Health and the Hunter Medical Research Institute. Medical, pharmaceutical and consumer organisations are involved in the governance of the project as part of a steering committee.
This is a research trial and only community pharmacies and pharmacists that have been accepted into the trial and have met the requirements outlined in the NSW Health Authority are allowed to provide this service to applicable patients. A Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Other Licence has been issued to participating ACT pharmacies. Only appropriately trained pharmacists (i.e. approved pharmacists) employed in eligible community pharmacies (i.e. approved pharmacies) that meet the requirements will be able to deliver the OCP re-supply service.
PDL continues to support the profession and members in the provision of professional services, and PDL representatives have and continue to provide input to the trial regarding risk management for this service.
For pharmacists participating in or considering an application to join the trial, the PDL Master Policy automatically includes professional indemnity cover for members providing this service in line with the approved guidelines. PDL members do not need to inform PDL of their involvement in the pilot and main study. Pharmacy proprietors are reminded to confirm their indemnity status for this service with their business insurer. Proprietors who hold a current Pharmacy Business Insurance Policy with Guild Insurance are covered for this service, however they will still need to notify Guild Insurance that they will be participating in this trial.
Expressions of interest
Pharmacies and pharmacists in NSW seeking to become involved in the trial are required to submit an expression of interest. Please note that eligibility conditions apply, including naming the pharmacist(s) who would potentially deliver the service. Those named pharmacists will be contacted for individual consent once the pharmacy has been approved. An expression of interest does not guarantee participation in the trial.
Additional training is required to participate in the clinical trial. This is to ensure safe clinical care and familiarity with the specific requirements of the trial. The clinical trial team will provide all necessary information once participation is confirmed. Training is available through the Australasian College of Pharmacy and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
More information about the trial can be found on the NSW Health information web page.
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, Australia-wide.