The facts

Pharmacy prescribing trials are not backed by evidence, and bypass the critical checks and balances that are intended to protect you.

Fact 1

Non-medical prescribing is when healthcare professionals who are not medical practitioners ― such as nurses, pharmacists, and physiotherapists ― are authorised to prescribe prescription only medicines to patients.

Fact 2

There are several types of non-medical prescribing which fall into two categories:

  • Collaborative non-medical prescribing: where non-medical prescribers are authorised to prescribe as part of a collaborative or multidisciplinary team, often with medical practitioner oversight
  • Autonomous non-medical prescribing: where non-medical prescribers are authorised to prescribe outside of a collaborative team, without medical practitioner oversight

Fact 3

The pharmacy prescribing trials sidestep Australia’s national governance frameworks and independent and expert advise, including:

Fact 4

Autonomous prescribing models create a potential financial conflict of interest, as the same healthcare professional can be responsible for both the prescribing and dispensing of a medicine, which contradicts The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s recommendation regarding separation of prescribing and dispensing:

“The separation of prescribing and dispensing of medicines provides a safety mechanism as it ensures independent review of a prescription occurs prior to the commencement of treatment.”

This point was also raised by participants at the Pharmacist Prescribing Forum in 2018.

Fact 5

Analysis of comparable international non-medical prescribing models reveals that Australia is one of the only countries with autonomous pharmacy prescribing (see map below). 

Autonomous pharmacy prescribing around the globe


Comparable countries analysed


Autonomous pharmacy prescribing

Non-medical prescribing models in countries with similar health systems to Australia were analysed (including United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and other European countries (including Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden).