Women Given Easier Access To Resupply Of Pill

SA Gov

South Australian women can now visit participating pharmacies for an assessment to access a resupply of their oral contraceptive pill, without needing to see a doctor for a script.

The service is available from today to women aged 17 to 50 who have been prescribed an approved oral contraceptive pill by a registered medical practitioner and meet certain clinical criteria.

More than 130 pharmacists across South Australia have already completed the additional training required to offer the service, and more than 170 pharmacists are currently undertaking the process. The number of participating pharmacies will increase over time as more pharmacists complete the required training.

Before accessing a resupply of the Pill through a community pharmacy, women must have been taking their Pill continuously for at least two years and had a review from a medical practitioner or authorised prescriber during this time.

Those aged 17 to 40 will be able to access one pack at a time through their pharmacist, up to a maximum of 12 months’ supply. Those aged 41 to 50 can access one pack without a new script before being referred to their GP or authorised prescribing professional for a review.

The pharmacist will ask about current treatment and undertake a clinical review to determine whether resupply is safe and appropriate. Where a person is assessed by the pharmacist as not meeting the eligibility or clinical criteria for the Pill or if there are other health related considerations, they will be referred to their GP or health practitioner for further follow up.

This initiative further expands on the new services available in South Australian pharmacies, providing greater access to timely health care services. A urinary tract infection (UTI) service was introduced in March, allowing women experiencing symptoms of an uncomplicated UTI to visit a local pharmacy to access advice and medication.

Through the UTI service, South Australian women aged 18 to 65 can be assessed by a trained pharmacist and access a one-off course of antibiotics without a prescription, if they meet certain clinical criteria.

Since being introduced, more than 1,300 South Australian women have had their UTI symptoms assessed by a trained community pharmacist. Approximately 50 per cent of all registered community pharmacies in the state are now providing the service which is currently more than 240 sites.

South Australians are encouraged to check with their local pharmacy to see if they offer the new services.

The state’s three 24-hour pharmacies which were introduced earlier this year, are also continuing to report strong demand for after-hours medication and health advice.

In the first three months of National Pharmacies at Norwood being open 24/7, 4,652 customers were reported to have visited when it usually would have been closed.

In the first two months of 24/7 operation, the southern and northern Chemist Warehouse pharmacies reported 5,101 customers attending the Clovelly Park Chemist Warehouse, and 12,117 customers attending the Salisbury Plain Chemist Warehouse when they previously would have been closed.

That is more than 21,800 customers in total helped after-hours across the three sites.

Since they commenced operating 24/7, these pharmacies have dispensed 8,347 scripts during their new additional hours. They have also taken 1,770 phone calls from people seeking pharmacist advice or checking availability of products.

For more information, go to the SA Health website.

As put by Chris Picton

We are making it easier for South Australian women to safely access important medications from their local pharmacist without needing to go to a doctor.

We know it’s not easy or always convenient to get a GP appointment, so expanding health care options makes sense.

The Pill resupply program is improving the accessibility and continuity of contraceptive medicines in a safe and efficient way.

It is one of a number of pharmacy initiatives we have introduced to ensure South Australians can receive the care they need, when then need it, with hundreds also benefiting from the new UTI service and round-the-clock care being offered at our three new 24/7 pharmacies.

These initiatives put patients first, providing flexibility and faster access to care while also helping to ease pressure on hospital emergency departments and wait times to see a GP.

As put by Jayne Stinson MP, Chair of the Inquiry into Access to UTI Treatment

So many women have stopped me in the street saying how grateful they are to be able to access the Pill and UTI medication more quickly and easily.

This is a common sense move to address women’s health needs and reduce pressure on our emergency departments and GPs.

I’m thrilled the Minister has now fully implemented the recommendations of the Parliamentary Inquiry I initiated and led.

As put by SA Health Director Medicines and Technology Programs Anita Abarno

We are delighted the Pill resupply program is now available through participating pharmacies, providing South Australian women with greater choice to manage their birth control needs.

These new services complement those already available through other health providers including GPs, ensuring women have enhanced access to timely care.

Community pharmacists are required to undertake additional approved training before offering both programs, with women requiring further care to be referred to their GP or health practitioner.

As put by National Pharmacies Chief Pharmacist Bec Rogers

National Pharmacies congratulates the State Government for providing South Australian women with greater access to when and where they receive contraceptive care.

From today, eligible women can receive a resupply of the oral contraceptive pill through participating National Pharmacies stores, taking pressure off GPs and delivering affordable and timely access to women’s reproductive health needs.

As the state’s first 24/7 community pharmacy, our pharmacists are ready day and night to resupply oral contraceptive pills to women aged 17 to 50 with past prescriptions for certain types of the Pill issued in the previous two years.

National Pharmacies’ key purpose as a community pharmacy is to care for our community, including women.

We know access to contraception for women’s reproductive health is important.

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