A mixed model is best for pharmacist prescribing

by Stephen Duckett

Pharmacists play a crucial role in the delivery of primary health care to Australians. Improving pharmacists’ ability to deliver efficient, high-quality care to all is crucial to making Australia’s health system more sustainable. Using pharmacists’ skills better – by allowing suitably prepared pharmacists to prescribe – will improve people’s access to health care, facilitate better medication management, reduce costs, and ease the burden on general practice. In this submission to the Pharmacy Board of Australia, Grattan Institute Health Program Director Stephen Duckett recommends that pharmacists be allowed to prescribe under three models: autonomous prescribing, prescribing under supervision, and prescribing under a structured prescribing arrangement. Autonomous prescribing should be restricted to pharmacists employed in large hospitals, and prescribing under supervision should be restricted to hospitals and selected larger practices