Regulation of the pharmacy profession throughout Australia
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Pharmacy state and territory legislation provides for the regulation of the pharmacy 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 amongst pharmacy registering authorities. COPRA was recently renamed the Australian Pharmacy Council Inc. Aim To compare the regulatory requirements and identify regulatory consistencies and differences between jurisdictions. Method A qualitative approach encompassing a survey design and interview was used. All eight 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. Different definitions apply with regard to disciplinary processes and the extent to which the registering authorities are able to sanction practitioners. The jurisdictions have different requirements with regard to pharmacy premises registration, the inspection of premises and the required equipment and resources to practise. Differences with regard to pre-registration programmes, the assessment of pre-registration pharmacists and initial and ongoing registration specifications were also identified. Conclusion The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has made recommendations that will impact on the regulation of all health professionals in Australia. The Australian Pharmacy Council and the pharmacy registering authorities have made significant progress towards the harmonisation of pharmacy regulation. However, the regulation of the pharmacy profession throughout Australia remains varied. COAG should therefore focus on early reforms such as a national pharmacy register before addressing the more complicated issues of consistency in disciplinary outcomes, pre-registration programmes and annual pharmacist registration requirements.
Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research
© 2007 Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.