The Queensland government has made changes to the Drug Therapy Protocol in order to provide a greater scope for pharmacists to administer vaccinations and prescribe certain medicines to patients, if a prescriber is unavailable.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is also developing a protocol enabling pharmacists to supply alternate medicines, should a patient’s usual medicine become unavailable due to drug shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Queensland Branch President, Professor Trent Twomey, said that the changes are instrumental in protecting vulnerable community members during a time when they are most at risk.
“Sharing the load between trained primary healthcare professionals will be essential during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s going to be a marathon and we need to work together to support Queenslanders.
“These Drug Therapy Protocol changes help to increase healthcare access for the community, with more than 6,200 pharmacists located in Queensland.
“With the influenza season upon us, it’s critical that the community has greater access to flu vaccinations to limit the spread and reduce the likelihood of simultaneous flu and coronavirus hospitalisations,” Professor Twomey said.
“These changes, along with the new Australia Post medicines home delivery service will enable pharmacists to provide greater access and support for Queenslanders, including those isolating themselves at home, people over 70 and people with chronic health conditions,” he said.