Pharmacy Trial Program

This page provides information about the Pharmacy Trial Program.

Page last updated: 08 July 2020

Background
Principles for the Pharmacy Trial Program
Tranche 1 of the PTP
Tranche 2 of the PTP
Tranche 3 of the PTP
Stakeholder Engagement
Trial Advisory Group
Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of Trial Outcomes
Pharmacy Trial Program Evaluation
Contacts and relevant links

Background

The Australian Government recognises the important role that pharmacists and pharmacies play in our health system and is committed to supporting pharmacies across Australia in providing consumer access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and effective health care services.

The PBS Access and Sustainability Package is a group of measures which delivered funding for community pharmacy through the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (Sixth Agreement).

The total funding allocated for community pharmacy programs under the Sixth Agreement was is $1.26 billion over five years, (2015-16 to 2019-20). This included:
  • $613 million to support community pharmacy programs that were continuing from the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement;
  • $50 million to support a Pharmacy Trial Program (PTP), which seeks to improve clinical outcomes for patients and/or utilise the full scope of a pharmacists role in delivering primary health care services; and
  • $600 million to support a range of new and/or expanded programs.
A particular focus of the new, continuing and expanded Community Pharmacy Programs was those which benefit:
    (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and
    (b) consumers in rural and remote areas.

Principles for the Pharmacy Trial Program

A suite of Principles (PDF 23 KB) - Principles (Word 23 KB), underpin the PTP and trials that are funded.

Tranche 1 of the PTP

Tranche 1 of the PTP involves topics identified from previous research and development work undertaken under previous community pharmacy agreements or through discussions and negotiations on the PBS Access and Sustainability Measure.
Trial name: Improved Medication Management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Feasibility Study (IMeRSe Feasibility Study)
Lead Organisation: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Partner organisation/s: National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and Griffith University
Description: The study develops and assesses the feasibility of a culturally responsive Indigenous Medication Review service, delivered by community pharmacists integrated with Aboriginal Health Services (AHS).
Trial location/s: Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Trial name: Pharmacy Diabetes Screening
Lead Organisation: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Partner organisation/s: University of Sydney and Deakin University
Description: This trial compares the effectiveness of three pharmacy-based screening models in detecting type 2 diabetes.
Trial location/s: National.

Grant Guidelines for Tranche 1 of the PTP

Word version of the Grant Guidelines for Tranche 1 of the PTP (Word 84 KB)
PDF version of the Grant Guidelines for Tranche 1 of the PTP (PDF 277 KB)

Tranche 2 of the PTP

Priority themes for Tranche 2 of the PTP were developed following a stakeholder consultation process.
Trial name: Reducing Medicine Induced Deterioration and Adverse Reactions
Lead Organisation: University of South Australia
Partner organisation/s: Several organisations, including Terry White Chemmart, Southern Cross Care and Helping Hand Aged Care
Description: The trial compares pharmacist led early identification of signs and symptoms of medicine-induced deterioration to usual care in reducing medicine-induced deterioration and adverse reactions in aged care facility residents.
Trial location/s: South Australia and Tasmania.

Trial name: Integrating practice pharmacists into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (The IPAC Project)
Lead Organisation: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Partner organisation/s: National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and James Cook University
Description: The trial assesses the outcomes associated with integrating pharmacists providing medication management services into Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services compared with usual care (pre-intervention).
Trial location/s: Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Trial name: Getting asthma under control
Lead Organisation: Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
Partner organisation/s: Several organisations, including the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the National Asthma Council, University of Sydney, Curtin University and University of Tasmania
Description: The trial compares outcomes for medication adherence, inhaler technique and control of allergic rhinitis for patients with poorly-controlled asthma, of a pharmacist-led intervention with ‘standard/usual care’.
Trial location/s: New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Trial name: Early Detection and Management of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and Chronic Disease Markers in Community Pharmacy.
Lead Organisation: Black Swan Health
Description: The trial compares a low intensity Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) risk assessment to a comprehensive CVD risk assessment by community pharmacists to detect risk, diagnose and enable early intervention for CVD.
Trial location/s: Perth.

Grant Guidelines for Tranche 2 of the PTP can be accessed via Grant Connect.

Tranche 3 of the PTP

Trial name: Chronic Pain MedsCheck trial
Lead Organisation: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Partner organisation/s: HealthConsult and University of South Australia
Description: The Chronic Pain MedsCheck Trial aims to assess the effectiveness of a pharmacist-led, patient-centred service to support patients that are taking medication to manage chronic pain and are identified as experiencing self-management or pain medication dependency issues. The trial is largely based on the Diabetes MedsCheck service model delivered by community pharmacy under the 6CPA, and compares two service models; one model has two clinical consultations (Group A) and the second model has three clinical consultations (Group B).
Trial location/s: National.

Trial name: Bridging the Gap between Physical and Mental Illness in Community Pharmacy (PharMIbridge) trial
Lead Organisation: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Partner organisation/s: Griffith University and The University of Sydney
Description: The trial investigates the effectiveness of pharmacist delivered mentoring and medication adherence, quality of life, and physical and psychological support to selected patients taking antipsychotics and/or mood stabilisers compared to a standard MedsCheck service.
Trial location/s: PharMIbridge service is available in various locations around Australia. Please speak to your pharmacist or contact the Research Team.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder involvement, input and support from the consumer, pharmacy, pharmaceutical and medical sectors have been essential in assisting the Department in designing and implementing the PTP, and determining trial priorities.

The consultation process for the PTP commenced with a public forum on 26 October 2015, which a number of national peak groups and stakeholders attended. Please see the Forum Report (PDF 68 KB) - Forum Report (Word 33 KB).

The Department released a Discussion Paper (PDF 230 KB) - Discussion Paper (Word 362 KB), between 17 March 2016 and 29 April 2016 with a high level ‘Call for Ideas’ from stakeholders. The Department received 108 responses to the consultation process. The information collected through the consultation process was used to develop priority themes for the PTP for consideration by the Minister for Health.

Trials Advisory Group

The Trial Advisory Group (TAG) was established as an independent expert advisory committee to provide advice to the Department on the development and implementation of trials under the PTP.

More information is available on the Trials Advisory Group page.

Health Technology Assessment (HTA) of Trial Outcomes


The outcomes of all PTP Trials will undergo an independent Health Technology Assessment (HTA) to inform decisions about any future funding for trialled programs. It is expected the evaluation will be conducted by the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) or another independent HTA body.

The recommendation of whether a new pharmacist-led intervention should be supported and publicly funded (and if so, its circumstances) will be informed by an assessment of its comparative safety, clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness using best available trial evidence. The program or service must also satisfy funding priorities as determined by the Minister.

As the purpose of the PTP was to generate data to assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new pharmacist-led interventions, trial results will not be publicly reported prior to completion and publication of the HTA assessments of the intervention.

Pharmacy Trial Program Evaluation


The Department engaged Healthcare Management Advisors (HMA) to review the implementation of the PTP. The Review (PDF 1366 KB) - Review (Word 335 KB) was completed in December 2019.

The objectives of the implementation review were to:
  • inform and assess the appropriateness of the PTP including identifying the alignment between the program response (administrative activities and outputs) and the intended outcomes;
  • identify early insights into implementation, including lessons learnt, potential design issues and opportunities for program improvement; and
  • provide recommendations and/or options on possible enhancements or improvements to the design and implementation of the PTP.

The review objectives were used to define the scope of the review as follows:
  • Appropriateness: the continued relevance and priority of program objectives and alignment of program activities, outputs and intended outcomes;
  • Effectiveness: whether the program implementation has facilitated achievement of intended outcomes; and
  • Efficiency: whether there are better ways to achieve the intended outcomes.

Contact Us

If you wish to contact the Department in relation to the PTP, you can do so via the Pharmacy Trial Program email address: (pharmacy.trial.program@health.gov.au).

Relevant Links