ACT Pharmacy UTI and Contraceptive Pill Trial

5 ACT pharmacies are participating in the NSW Health Pharmacy Trial.

The trial allows trained pharmacists to provide important medications and treatments for uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women and people with a uterus aged 18 to 65 years (inclusive) usually only available with a prescription.

Later in the year these pharmacists will also be able to resupply the contraceptive pill to eligible women.

The University of Newcastle is leading the trial in association with the University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, University of New England, Charles Sturt University, The George Institute for Global Health and the Hunter Medical Research Institute.

Who is eligible for UTI treatment by a participating pharmacist?

You are eligible for UTI treatment at a participating pharmacy if you are:

  • female or a person with a uterus
  • aged between 18 to 65 years (inclusive)
  • displaying symptoms consistent with an uncomplicated UTI, which may include:
    • burning or stinging (hurting) when you urinate, or a
    • frequent or urgent need to urinate.

What is the difference between an uncomplicated and a complicated UTI?

A UTI is usually an uncomplicated UTI when you:

  • are otherwise healthy
  • are not pregnant
  • have no abnormalities or obstructions in your urinary tract
  • have an infection in the lower section of their urinary tract (bladder and urethra) indicated by symptoms including:
    • burning or stinging (hurts) when you urinate
    • frequent or urgent need to urinate.

You are more likely to be at risk of a complicated UTI if you:

  • are male
  • have had a UTI more than once, for example, if you have had two or more UTIs within 6 months or three or more UTIs within 12 months
  • have received treatment for a UTI in the past 2 weeks and your symptoms have returned
  • are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • are immunocompromised
  • have diabetes, renal (kidney) disease or impaired renal (kidney) function
  • have a urinary tract abnormality, have had previous surgery or stents on the urinary tract or a history of obstruction
  • have a catheter, or have recently had a catheter (last 48 hours)
  • have an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • are displaying symptoms of a more serious infection or an infection that has moved into the upper urinary tract. These symptoms may include:
    • a fever or chills
    • rapid breathing or difficulty breathing
    • rapid heart rate
    • chest pain
    • headaches, nausea or vomiting
    • confusion.

As part of this trial, pharmacists will provide advice and treatment for uncomplicated UTIs. If you are displaying any symptoms of a serious infection, your pharmacist will refer you to your doctor (GP) or an Emergency Department.

What does the pharmacy consultation involve?

At your consultation with the pharmacist, you will be provided with an information sheet and asked some screening questions. This is to make sure you receive the right treatment and care.

You should call the pharmacy before you go to check opening hours and to ask if you need to book a consultation.

There will be a fee for both the consultation and antibiotics if required.

You may be referred to your doctor (GP) or the Emergency Department if you need additional care or urgent treatment.

You can also attend your local ACT Government Walk-in Centre for free treatment of UTIs.

Where can I access treatment for a UTI?

In Canberra you can access treatment for UTIs from your general practitioner (GP), the ACT Government Walk-in Centres and participating pharmacies. The Emergency Department is also available if you require additional care.

Participating pharmacies

Oral contraceptive pill

Later in 2023, eligible women may be able to visit a participating pharmacy to resupply their oral contraceptive pill (the pill) as part of the ACT Pharmacy trial.

To receive a resupply of your oral contraceptive pill, you must be:

  • aged between 18 to 35 years (inclusive)
  • taking the pill for contraception purposes only
  • prescribed a low-risk oral contraceptive pill in the last two years by a doctor (GP) or nurse practitioner. If this prescription has expired but was issued in the last two years you are still eligible.

More information will be available when this phase of the trial commences.

More Information

Please refer to the NSW Health website.

Page last updated on: 21 Sep 2023