More pharmacies join UTI treatment and contraceptive trial


Approximately one in six community pharmacies in Canberra now offer treatments for uncomplicated urinary tract infections and a resupply of their oral contraceptive pill as NSW Pharmacy Trial expands in the ACT.

In August 2023 ACT Health secured a collaborative agreement with NSW Health which saw five ACT pharmacies join the NSW Pharmacy Trial, led by researchers at the University of Newcastle. A further 10 pharmacies have now joined the trial, bringing Canberra’s total to 15.

Minister for Population Health Emma Davidson says the expansion across the ACT means women will be more empowered to access care to live healthier in our community.

“Pharmacists are trusted, accessible and often the first point of contact when someone needs healthcare. Primary health care workers, such as GPs, are under high demand and often people receive care once symptoms have exacerbated,” Minister Davidson said.

“The trial increases timely access to low-risk medications and treatment, giving more agency to women to seek healthcare sooner. This means quicker recovery, reduced pressure on primary health care workers and our hospitals and healthier people.”

The trial will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of pharmacists providing antibiotics to treat uncomplicated UTIs in eligible women and people with a uterus aged between 18-65. Participants are referred on for further medical care if their symptoms do not improve in 48 hours or if they do not meet the trial eligibility. 

People aged 18 to 35 may also be able to obtain a re-supply of the contraceptive pill after a consultation with a participating pharmacist if they have been taking their existing pill for contraceptive purposes and continuously prescribed a low-risk oral contraceptive pill in the last 2 years by a doctor or nurse practitioner.

The first five ACT community pharmacies under the trial include Capital Chemist Charnwood, Gold Creek Discount Drug Store, Pharmacy on Petrie, Erindale Pharmacy and PharmaSave Woden Pharmacy.

The pharmacies under the trial expansion were selected based on access for all geographical areas in the ACT. The 10 new pharmacies include Chemist Warehouse Gungahlin, Priceline Pharmacy Belconnen, Terry White Chemmart Compounding Ainslie, University Pharmacy ANU, Capital Chemist Kingston, The Pharmacy on Franklin Manuka, Cooleman Court Pharmacy, Capital Chemist Southlands, Capital Chemist Calwell, Life Pharmacy Group Lanyon.

The trial services are patient-funded and include a fee for both the consultation and any medications provided. For more information about the program, visit

In the ACT, women can also receive treatment for uncomplicated UTIs at a nurse-led walk-in centre. 

Quotes attributable to Simon Blacker, ACT Branch President of the Pharmacy Guild:

“We welcome the addition of another 10 community pharmacies into the NSW-led trial so that eligible Canberra women have greater access to treatment for uncomplicated UTIs and re-supply of their oral contraceptive pill.

“ACT community pharmacists stand ready to work at their full scope of practice to help patients better manage their health conditions and alleviate the pressure on GPs and our hospital system.”

Quotes attributable to Sandra Ferrington, Capital Chemist Kingston managing partner:

“The increase in the number of pharmacies participating in the trial will provide expanded access to healthcare for women in the ACT, allowing for timely treatment and reducing the risk of untreated UTIs worsening.

“At Capital Chemist Kingston, we have a strong focus on women’s health and supporting women’s health care needs. We are pleased to be able to expand our practice to enable patients to obtain time sensitive treatments in their local pharmacy, without needing to travel across town.

“We are open extended hours, have several consultation rooms and all our pharmacists are trained to provide the service in line with the trial protocol.”