The Pharmacy Guild of Australia released the following statement on 19 June 2020 about the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland (UTIPP-Q):
1. Following on from Recommendation Two in the 2018 Parliamentary Inquiry into Community Pharmacy, the Queensland Department of Health opened a tender for providers to develop and implement a pilot that will allow trained community pharmacists to provide appropriate treatment for uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
2. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Queensland and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is part of a consortium led by QUT, which was successful in winning the tender for the pilot. The pilot framework, clinical protocol, ethics and software platforms have been developed.
3. The pilot will be open to non-pregnant women, aged 18-65 who are deemed to have an uncomplicated urinary tract infection. Men will not be eligible to be treated as part of the pilot as symptoms are not reflective of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection. The pilot will run for two years, from Friday 19 June 2020.
4. The pilot is open to all Queensland pharmacies that are accredited through the Quality Care Pharmacy Program (QCPP).
5. Participating pharmacists have undergone additional mandatory training to assess, diagnose and offer appropriate treatment to patients as part of the pilot. The approved online CPD training is available through both the Guild and PSA Learning and Development platform.
6. Treatment options may include a supply of antibiotics (if appropriate). If, through the screening process, the patient is deemed to not have an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, their treatment options may include a referral to a GP for further investigation, as covered in the PSA Guidance for provision of antibiotics for acute uncomplicated cystitis in females (the practice standard).
7. There is a precedent for pharmacist prescribing regarding treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections in other OECD countries, including NZ and UK.
8. Community pharmacy is easily accessible. In capital cities, 97% of consumers are no further than 2.5km from a community pharmacy. In regional areas, 65% of people are within 2.5 km of a pharmacy.
9. Community pharmacies are the most frequently accessed and most accessible health destination, with over 456 million individual patient visits annually and the vast majority of pharmacies open after-hours, including weekends.
10. Pharmacists are one of the most trusted professions. Public opinion surveys have shown that 84% of adults trust the advice they receive from pharmacists.
11. Community pharmacists are accessible and understand this target demographic. At 30 September 2019, there were 32,035 registered pharmacists in Australia. 62.8% of pharmacists are women; and over 60% are under 40 years of age.
Text by: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia