Learn about the oral contraceptive pill trial

Posted by Blooms The Chemist on 3 Apr 2024

Learn about the oral contraceptive pill trial

If you live in NSW, VIC, or QLD, you may be eligible to get a resupply of your oral contraceptive pill as part of an ongoing pharmacy trial. Find out if you're eligible and why this is an important step towards greater healthcare access and equality.

The eastern Australian states, including the ACT, have recently introduced programs that increase the responsibilities of community Pharmacists (also known as ‘pharmacy scope of practice’). 

This includes the treatment of uncomplicated urinary tract infections and the resupply of the oral contraceptive pill without a prescription.

How does the trial work?

Women may be able to purchase more of the contraceptive pill they're already using*, without needing a prescription. 

The trial is available at participating pharmacies, and Pharmacists have undertaken additional training to provide this free service. 

Participating Pharmacists will have a private consultation with you and ask questions to help them decide if they can provide this service or whether you need to see your GP. 

This is so those at high risk of medical complications, or those who are more likely to have an adverse reaction, will still see a GP. Questions include your age, sex, and medical history. Bring your Medicare card if you have one, and any concession cards you hold. It's also helpful to share any information about other medications you're taking. 

If you need more boxes of the contraceptive pill, you should bring your old prescription, or some of the medication in its box.

The specific criteria change by state, and participants must be:

NSW1 and QLD2:

  • Taking the pill for contraception purposes only (to prevent unplanned pregnancy)
  • Female between the ages of 18 to 35 (inclusive)
  • Have been prescribed or supplied the oral contraceptive pill by a medical practitioner in the previous 24 months
  • The use of oral contraception has been continuous (i.e. you’ve taken your prescribed pill for longer than two years).

Additionally, not all oral contraceptive pills will be available.


  • Female between the ages of 16 to 50 (inclusive)
  • Have been prescribed or supplied the oral contraceptive pill by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner in the previous 24 months
  • The use of oral oral contraception has been continuous.

The Oral Contraceptive Trial will also be available in South Australia from March 2024 4.

Which contraceptive pills can my Pharmacist resupply?

If your pharmacy is part of the trial, they’ll be able to resupply two types of pills: combined oral contraceptive pill (COC) and progesterone-only pills (POP). While a COC contains both oestrogen and progesterone, POPs contain only progesterone. 

These pills are designated low-risk because the level of oestrogen is very low. However, while oestrogen has been linked with a very small risk of blood clots and stroke, it’s safe for most women.

Why are some pharmacies now able to provide the pill?

Pharmacists are specifically trained to dispense and understand medication and medication interactions. 

Most pharmacies also offer a private consultation room and accessible health advice, and providing the resupply of the oral contraceptive pill without a prescription may make it easier for GPs to focus on more specialised care and ensure more people can access essential and quality healthcare. 

This includes:

  • Patients unable to regularly visit a bulk-billing GP
  • Patients whose GPs may have long wait times
  • Patients who need emergency resupply of their existing prescription of oral contraceptive pill.

By expanding the role of Pharmacists, governments and healthcare experts are helping to create a more accessible, informed, and patient-centered healthcare system. 

This groundbreaking development not only simplifies the process of getting contraception but empowers women to take charge of their reproductive choices. To learn more about the trial and the expanding scope of practice for Pharmacists, visit

*Not all oral contraceptive pills will be available.

This article has been republished with permission and is available in Health Check Magazine. Visit your local Blooms The Chemist to get your copy today.


1NSW Government, FAQs: The oral contraceptive pill and the NSW Pharmacy Trial, accessed 4 March 2024

2QLD Government, Healthcare services available, accessed 4 March 2024

3Victorian Government, Victorian Community Pharmacist Statewide Pilot, accessed 4 March 2024

4South Australian Premier, Easier access to UTI and contraceptive pill medicines, accessed 4 March 2024