The Queensland government is considering a major overhaul of the role pharmacies play in the health system, that could soon see them selling medicines like the contraceptive pill and viagra over the counter, without a script.
The Queensland Pharmacy Guild are pushing for tougher regulation of large chemist chains, and want to set up an industry-funded pharmacy council that would have the power to enforce rules and penalties.
Under the proposals, patients could access a range of medical treatments without seeing a GP, fill repeat prescriptions for non-addictive drugs for conditions like asthma, and receive vaccinations for jabs other than influenza.
"If you are on long-term medication for diabetes or asthma, you shouldn’t have to go back and get another prescription for these drugs that are not high risk and are not drugs of abuse," Guild director Trent Twomey told The Courier-Mail.
Doctors have warned against the move, believing pharmacies may concern themselves more with sales figures, rather than noticing problems suffered by patients.