WA pharmacists to expand oral contraceptive access

Western Australian pharmacists are set to be able to resupply oral contraceptives to women across the state as part of a new pilot program.

The Pharmacist Resupply of Oral Contraceptive Pills Pilot enables pharmacists to supply up to 12 months of a combination or progestogen-only contraceptive pill to women* between 18 and 39 years of age who have a stable history of using the pill for two years. Patients aged between 16 and 17 years can access up to four months’ supply as an extension to their original prescription.

Pharmacists are required to undergo additional training before commencing services.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) WA President Kristian Ray welcomed the Pilot announcement.

“WA has now joined the majority of Australian states and territories giving women greater autonomy and choice when it comes to accessing oral contraceptives,” Mr Ray said.
“It shows how pharmacists working together with GPs and other healthcare professionals can improve the care we provide, relieving strain on our healthcare systems in a safe and efficient way.
“This is a step forward, ensuring that reproductive care is accessible and safe.
“We applaud the Cook Government’s initiation of this pilot, recognising not only pharmacist’s role as medicine safety experts, but also underscoring the importance of a collaborative, patient-centred approach to healthcare delivery.”

With compulsory training now available, Mr Ray encouraged pharmacists across the state to take up the opportunity.

“The oral contraceptive pilot is a new opportunity for pharmacists to develop new skills, underpinned by quality education and training and best-practice care.
“The oral contraceptive pilot isn’t just about expanding our scope of practice, it’s about ensuring that every individual receives the care and support they need to make informed decisions about their reproductive health,” Mr Ray concluded.

*Pharmacists providing contraception and sexual health advice for transgender and gender diverse individuals presumed female at birth must ensure the service is safe and accessible. It’s important to verify that transgender and gender diverse individuals seeking contraceptive care are actively engaged with appropriate sexual health services as needed. The resupply of OCP is permitted for transgender and gender diverse individuals, provided all other protocol conditions are met.

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