Department of Health

Victorian Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot – Resources for pharmacists

Key messages

  • The Department of Health commenced a 12-month statewide pilot in October 2023 to test an expanded role for community pharmacists. For more details on the pilot, visit Victorian Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot.
  • Skin condition treatments for herpes zoster (shingles) and flare up of mild plaque psoriasis are now live.
  • The Secretary Approval and the Gazette notice are updated to include treatment of skin conditions.
  • The skin conditions training links for both training providers are now listed below.
  • The Management Protocols for the two skin conditions are available.
  • Both training courses for travel health are now available.
  • MedAdvisor has made changes to the subscription tiers for clinical streams. Please see the system requirements section below for information.
  • Pharmacists approved to participate in the pilot must successfully complete training for each clinical stream before providing services.
  • Approved pharmacies and services are listed on the Better Health Channel – Community Pharmacist PilotExternal Link .
  • Pharmacies are reimbursed monthly in arrears for providing pilot services. More details on pharmacy payments and the payment schedule are available on this webpage.

This page has information for pharmacists and will be updated as new information is released.

Skin conditions

From 1 March 2024, participating pharmacies that opt for the skins clinical stream can treat two skin conditions, herpes zoster (shingles) and a flare-up of mild plaque psoriasis, as part of the Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot.

The management protocols for the skin conditions are available via the links provided.

Both training options for skin conditions can be accessed from the training table.

A MedAdvisor Essentials subscription or a Standard or Premium subscription is required to access the skin conditions forms.

Approved pharmacies which wish to add or remove skin conditions to their set of services, should email AdminCommunityPharmacyPilot@health.vic.gov.au with a written request from the pharmacy owner.

Travel Health and vaccinations

The Protocol for Vaccine Administration (Feb 2024) has a minor technical amendment to section 2.7. The change does not affect the authorised administration of herpes zoster (zoster) vaccine. The Protocol for Vaccine Administration has been updated and is available below.

Access to both options of travel health training are available from the training table.

Training must be successfully completed before providing any travel health or other vaccination services as part of the pilot.

The MedAdvisor Premium or Standard subscriptions are required to deliver the travel health component.

Resources for consultations

For each consultation, pharmacists must use the following resources:

This form must be used to receive informed consent from each patient:

Management Protocols

Approved pharmacists must comply with the Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot management protocols for service delivery.

The management protocols to support the delivery of the pilot services are listed below:

Patient Handout for post-consultation

The following document is for pharmacists to provide patients after a consultation. It includes information about the pilot, the costs, and what to do after the consultation. It also provides patients with information about how to get more medical care and information for their specific condition.

Training

As part of the Secretary ApprovalExternal Link pharmacists are required to successfully complete one of the training modules listed in the table below for each clinical service before they can commence the service.

Please note that costs may apply.

Training course options and links for the pilot’s clinical services are listed below.

ServiceTraining course optionsTraining provider

Treatment for Urinary tract infections

Managing uncomplicated cystitisExternal Link

5 hours

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Uncomplicated Cystitis Treatment Pharmacist TrainingExternal Link

1.5 hours

Australasian College of Pharmacy

Resupply of Oral Contraceptive Pills

Contraception Essentials ExplainedExternal Link

3.5 hours

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Oral contraceptives: a comprehensive training course for pharmacistsExternal Link

1.5 hours

Australasian College of Pharmacy

Vaccination services

Travel healthExternal Link

6 hours

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Travel health courseExternal Link

7.5 hours

Australasian College of Pharmacy

Skin conditions:

Herpes Zoster (Shingles) and Mild Plaque Psoriasis

Mild plaque psoriasis and Herpes Zoster (shingles)External Link

2.5 hours

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

Skin conditions courseExternal Link

2 hours

Australasian College of Pharmacy

Medicine pricing and payment information

The following documents includes pricing information for the Schedule 4 poisons included in the pilot. The documents have been updated to include skin condition pricing and to reflect pricing changes from 1 January 2024.

Pharmacy Payment Schedule

Pharmacy payment reporting period 2023-2024Date payment received at pharmacies from MedAdvisor
27 October - 30 November 202320 December 2023
1 December - 31 December 202324 January 2024
1 January - 31 January 202420 February 2024
1 February - 29 February 202420 March 2024
1 March - 31 March 202419 April 2024
1 April - 31 April 202420 May 2024
1 May - 31 May 202421 June 2024
1 June - 30 June 202419 July 2024
1 July - 31 July 202420 August 2024
1 August - 31 August 202420 September 2024
1 September - 30 September 202418 October 2024
1 October - 31 October 202420 November 2024

Legislative authorisation

Pharmacists participating in the pilot are authorised under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Regulations 2017External Link , to administer, supply and sell specified Schedule 4 poisons without a prescription or other instruction or authorisation subject to some limitations and conditions.

Participating pharmacists must comply with the Secretary Approval: Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot (Approval), issued under regulation 163A, which approves specific Schedule 4 poisons for administration, supply or sale during the pilot.

View the Victorian Government Gazette notice for the ApprovalExternal Link . You can also download the Secretary approval:

The Approval specifies the conditions in which a pharmacist is authorised to administer, supply or sell the Schedule 4 poison, including:

  • the training that must be completed before that activity occurs (to be advised), and
  • the protocol(s) that must be followed when supplying treatment for suspected urinary tract infections, resupplying the oral contraceptive pill, or administering vaccines under the pilot.

As of 1 March 2024, provided all requirements are met, the administration, supply or sale of the specified Schedule 4 poisons can take place.

To supply treatment for suspected urinary tract infections, herpes zoster (shingles) or mild plaque psoriasis or resupply the oral contraceptive pill under the pilot, pharmacists must also comply with regulation 57A of the Regulations.

To administer vaccines under the pilot, pharmacists must also comply with regulation 99B of the Regulations.

System requirements

Participating pharmacies are required to have a MedAdvisor subscription to deliver services within the pilot.

MedAdvisor has made changes to their inclusions of the subscription tiers. This may impact system requirements for the participating pharmacies as shown in the table below:

Pilot servicesRequired subscription tier

Urinary Tract Infection

Oral Contraception

Skin conditions (herpes zoster (shingles) and mild plaque psoriasis)

MedAdvisor Essentials or MedAdvisor Standard or Premium
Travel Health + ImmunisationMedAdvisor Standard or Premium

More information is available in the pharmacist information packExternal Link or email MedAdvisor at info@medadvisor.com.au.

Pharmacy payments

Under the pilot, participating pharmacies are reimbursed for providing services relating to the pilot clinical streams.

This includes:

  • A payment of $20 for each eligible patient consultation provided in recognition of the required data and administrative commitments associated with the pilot.
  • Reimbursement for gaps in the cost of medications dispensed as per the Medicines Pricing Schedule and Patient Charges Information Pack. The amount will vary depending on the medication. The payment will ensure pharmacies are not negatively impacted financially for these medications under the pilot as compared to under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Please note that the medicines supplied under the pilot will not be claimable under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). However, to ensure equity of access, patient costs under the pilot will reflect the co-payment level a patient would be eligible for under the PBS. The co-payment amounts will be adjusted in line with the indexation of PBS patient co-payments on 1 January 2024.

If the medicine is not listed under the PBS the consumer will pay full price as they would if it were prescribed by a GP.

Amounts mentioned are exclusive of GST. The GST will be applied in the pharmacy payments.

MedAdvisor is the department’s authorised payment provider for the Pilot pharmacy payments. Payments will be made to the nominated back account on a monthly basis in arears.

Please ensure MedAdvisor has your up-to-date nominated bank account details and ABN.

Frequently asked questions

  • Participating community pharmacies are required to have a MedAdvisor subscription to deliver services within the pilot. The subscription tiers required for the various clinical streams are:

    • To deliver UTI, OCP and/or Skin conditions, you will need a MedAdvisor Essentials subscription OR a Standard OR a Premium subscription.
    • To deliver travel health component, you will need a MedAdvisor Premium OR Standard subscriptions.

    Fill out the MedAdvisor Subscription Amendment FormExternal Link or email info@medadvisor.com.au to add or amend a subscription tier.

    The EOI form will require a MedAdvisor ID number if you have one. Visit MedAdvisorExternal Link to access your MedAdvisor ID for the EOI form.

  • The pilot aims to test a new model primary health care, delivered through community pharmacies, to improve timely access to common, low risk medications.

    This might especially benefit women and those living in areas where it is hard to get a general practitioner (GP) appointment. It also aims to ease pressure on GPs so that they can focus on providing more complex care.

  • Having a structured prescribing arrangement in place provides participating community pharmacists with a limited authorisation to dispense, administer, supply and sell certain Schedule 4 ‘prescription only’ medications without a prescription from a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.

    This must be done according to an established guideline, protocol or standing order. It is lower risk compared to ‘autonomous prescribing’ and requires less comprehensive training.

    This structured prescribing arrangement is consistent with that of the current New South Wales Pharmacy Trial and completed Queensland Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot.

  • People who seek treatment from a community pharmacist under the pilot but who do not meet the eligibility criteria will be referred to an appropriate health practitioner, such as their GP.

  • Expressions of interest are currently open for pharmacies who want to participate - submit your EOI here.

    The pilot is taking an opt-in approach whereby community pharmacies and registered pharmacists working within these pharmacies can choose to join the pilot. There is no cap on the number of pharmacies or pharmacists which can join the pilot.

    Pharmacy owners, pharmacy premises and registered pharmacists must meet all eligibility requirements to be able to participate in the pilot.

    Pharmacy owners can add pharmacists to the pilot at any stage if they meet the EOI eligibility criteria and have successfully completed the relevant training.

    For the department to add a pharmacist email the following details to AdminCommunityPharmacyPilot@health.vic.gov.au:

    • Pharmacy EOI number
    • Pharmacist full name (required)
    • Pharmacist Ahpra registration number (required)
    • Full-time or part-time employment (required)
    • Pharmacist email address (optional)

    Each new pharmacist will be validated prior to being able to deliver services. The validation and administrative process may take up to two weeks for approval. The pharmacy owner will be emailed advising if the pharmacist has been approved to join the pilot.

  • Under the pilot, community pharmacies will receive $20 from the Victorian Government for each eligible patient consultation. This payment is for the administration and data collection required as part of pilot patient consultations.

    Community pharmacists will also be reimbursed for any Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Gaps in the medicines dispensed, and this will vary depending on the medication. This will ensure the cost to pharmacies for these medications will be the same as the cost under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Reviewed 01 March 2024

Health.vic

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Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot team

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