Community pharmacists in Queensland will trial providing medication for urinary tract infections (UTIs) without a GP prescription.
QUT pharmacy Professor Lisa Nissen is leading the Urinary Tract Infection Pharmacy Pilot – Queensland with a team of researchers and Queensland Health.
“Our aim is for community pharmacists to provide optimal care to women presenting with symptoms of an uncomplicated UTI who meet strict inclusion criteria,” Professor Nissen said.
“UTIs are a common condition seen by GPs – about 250,000 Australians develop a UTI each year and women are more susceptible with one in three women and one in 20 men developing a UTI in their lifetime.
“This pilot study follows several models of care for UTI that have been developed in Canada, the UK and New Zealand to allow pharmacists to supply antibiotics to patients with uncomplicated urinary tract infections.”
Professor Nissen said UTIs could develop quickly and were acutely painful and people wanted access to rapid relief of symptoms.
“International models of care have shown that community pharmacies can provide timely and effective treatment for a range of minor health conditions including uncomplicated UTIs,” she said.
“Pharmacists are highly trained and using them to improve access to care will reduce unnecessary visits to emergency departments and other health providers.”
The pilot is being conducted by Professor Nissen with researchers from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (QLD), the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (QLD), James Cook University, Griffith University, the University of Queensland and international partners from the University of Alberta and the University of Otago and the University of Auckland.
Professor Nissen and QUT researchers coordinated the successful Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot which has led to the availability of vaccinations through pharmacies across the country.