Regulation of the pharmacy profession throughout Australia

Laetitia Hattingh, Nerida Smith, Judy Searle, Michelle A King, Kim Forrester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Pharmacy state and territory legislation provides for the regulation of the profession throughout Australia by the pharmacy registering authorities. The Council of Pharmacy Registering Authorities (COPRA) was formed to harmonise these regulatory requirements and facilitate communication among pharmacy registering authorities. COPRA was recently renamed the Australian Pharmacy Council. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has made recommendations that will impact on the regulation of all health professionals in Australia. Aim: To compare the regulatory requirements and identify regulatory consistencies and differences between jurisdictions. Method: A qualitative approach encompassing a survey and interview was used. All 8 pharmacy registering authorities were approached to participate via an invitation through the Australian Pharmacy Council in September 2006. Results: Pharmacy registering authorities operate under diverse legislative frameworks and requirements. There are different definitions for disciplinary processes and the extent to which the registering authorities are able to sanction practitioners. The jurisdictions have different requirements for pharmacy premises registration, the inspection of premises and the required equipment and resources to practise. Differences in pre-registration programs, the assessment of pre-registration pharmacists and initial and ongoing registration specifications were also identified. Conclusion: The Australian Pharmacy Council and the pharmacy registering authorities have made significant progress towards the harmonisation of pharmacy regulation. However, the regulation of the profession throughout Australia remains varied. COAG needs to focus on early reforms such as a national pharmacy register before addressing the complex issues of consistency in disciplinary outcomes, pre-registration programs and annual pharmacist registration requirements.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1445-937X
Pages (from-to)174-177
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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