Pharmacy scope creep

11 Dec 2020

The AMA is continuing to push back against moves by the pharmacy sector to enter into wider vaccination administration, once COVID-19 vaccines start rolling out into the Australian community. 

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid, said any COVID-19 vaccination should be administered in general practice, due to the complexity of the delivery, the need for multiple doses, and the requirement to record all vaccinations on the Australian Immunisation Register – an area where pharmacists have been shown to be lacking. 

“Our view is the appropriate home for that is with a doctor, who is not trying to sell you anything else," Dr Khorshid told The Age

"Pharmacy is an important part of primary care, but also a retail space trying to sell you products." 

AMA Vice President, Dr Chris Moy, said Australia already had high rates of immunisation through general practice, and that should continue. 

“The argument from pharmacy is always about ‘convenience, convenience, convenience’ but it comes at the risk of continuity of care and the ability to assess patients for other things as well, and that would be a huge loss,” Dr Moy told The Medical Republic

“And there’s a potential conflict of interest in terms of (pharmacists) upselling other things as well, which is obviously a big risk within a pharmacy, but is not something that’s going to happen in a medical practice.”