Pharmacy Trial Program

This page provides information about the Pharmacy Trial Program.

Page last updated: 25 October 2016

Latest News

Approach to Market

The PTP Tranche 2 Approach to Market was released on 25 October 2016 (applications close 15 December 2016).

Meeting 5 - Tuesday 20 September 2016

The meeting summary from Meeting 5 of the Trials Advisory Group (TAG) is now available.

Trials Advisory Group (TAG)
TAG Meeting Summaries
Principles for the Pharmacy Trial Program
Approach to Market
Stakeholder Engagement
Continuing Community Pharmacy Programs
Key Activities and Dates
Trials Advisory Group - Membership
Contacts and relevant links


The Australian Government recognises the important role that community pharmacists and pharmacies play in our health system and is committed to supporting pharmacies across Australia in providing access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and effective health care services.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Access and Sustainability Package is a group of measures which will deliver funding for community pharmacy through the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (Sixth Agreement).

The total funding allocated for community pharmacy programs is $1.26 billion over five years, (2015-16 to 2019-20). This includes:
  • $613 million to support community pharmacy programs that are continuing from the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement and which are assessed as clinically and cost effective;
  • $50 million to support a new Pharmacy Trial Program (PTP). This program will fund a number of trials to improve patient outcomes, and seeks to expand the role of pharmacy in delivering a wider range of primary healthcare services; and
  • $600 million to support a range of new and/or expanded programs, based on the recommendations of an independent health technology assessment body such as the Medical Services Advisory Committee about the outcomes of trials.
It is intended that a particular focus of the new, continuing and expanded Community Pharmacy Programs will be those which benefit:
    (a) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and
    (b) consumers in rural and remote areas.

Trials Advisory Group (TAG)

The TAG has been established as an independent expert advisory committee to provide advice to the Department on the development and implementation of trials under the PTP.

TAG Meeting Summaries

Meeting 1 - 22 January 2016

At this meeting, members:
  • Agreed to the terms of reference for the TAG;
  • Noted the interaction of the PTP with other Government health programs, to inform the environment in which the TAG will operate, and potential linkages;
  • Noted the report on the Stakeholder Consultation Forum on the PTP, held on 26 October 2015;
  • Discussed key principles that trial proposals would need to address; and
  • Discussed potential topics for a first tranche of trials.

Meeting 2 - 15 March 2016

At this meeting, members:
  • Received a presentation from the Department on the role of probity principles in the PTP context;
  • Discussed the process and assessment criteria for assessing trial protocols;
  • Reviewed the first tranche of trial proposals, which were then announced by the Minister on 17 March 2016 as follows:
    • Medicines reconciliation service – post-discharge model;
    • Medicine Safety and Adherence Flexible Education (MedSAFE) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; and
    • Pharmacy based screening and referral for diabetes; and
  • Provided comments on the discussion paper, ‘Supporting pharmacist delivery of primary health care services through the Pharmacy Trial Program’.

Meeting 3 - Teleconference on 21 April 2016

The purpose of this meeting was to discuss a trial protocol for pharmacy based screening and referral for diabetes. Following discussion and review by TAG members, members agreed to recommend to the Minister for Health that this trial commence.

Meeting 4 – Thursday 21 July 2016

The main item of business at the 4th TAG meeting was consideration of the 108 ideas that were received from stakeholders in response to the call for trial topic ideas. The discussion of these ideas culminated in the identification of potential priorities for tranche 2 of PTP funding. The Minister for Health was advised of TAG’s views and has agreed to priority areas for trial topics that will form the basis of invitations to apply for tranche 2 PTP funding.

Meeting 5 – Tuesday 20 September 2016

The main purpose of this meeting was to review and discuss the trial protocols for the remaining two trials that comprise tranche 1 of the PTP. The Pharmacy Guild of Australia and its partners are developing and managing these tranche 1 trials.
  • Post-Discharge Medicines Reconciliation Service; and
  • Improved Medication Management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through Pharmacist Advice and Culturally Appropriate Services: a trial of the Indigenous Medication Review Service.
TAG members’ comments on the draft protocols were conveyed to the Pharmacy Guild, so that the trial protocols can be re-worked and finalised.

TAG Terms of Reference

Please find attached the TAG Terms of Reference (PDF 40 KB) - Terms of Reference (Word 146 KB), agreed to at Meeting 1 of the TAG.

Principles for the Pharmacy Trial Program

Please find attached Principles (PDF 23 KB) - Principles (Word 23 KB), which will underpin the PTP and any trials.

First Tranche of the trials

The first tranche of the trials will involve topics identified from previous research and development work in prior Agreements or through discussions and negotiations on the PBS Access and Sustainability Measure.

On 17 March 2016 at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, announced the first three trial topics for the first tranche of the PTP would be:
  • improved medication management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through pharmacist advice and culturally appropriate services;
  • pharmacy based screening and referral for diabetes; and
  • improved continuity in the management of patients’ medications when they are discharged from hospital.
The first tranche of the Trials have been and will be subject to review by the TAG and the Protocol Advisory Sub Committee of the Medical Services Advisory Committee.

Approach to Market

The PTP Tranche 2 Approach to Market was released on 25 October 2016 (applications close 15 December 2016). The Grant Guidelines and Application form can be found on the Tenders and Grants page.

Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholder involvement, input and support from the consumer, pharmacy, pharmaceutical and medical sectors will be essential in assisting the Department in designing and implementing the PTP, and determining trial priorities.

The consultation process for the PTP commenced with a public forum on 26 October 2015, which a number of national peak groups and stakeholders attended. Please see the Forum Report (PDF 68 KB) - Forum Report (Word 33 KB).

The Department released a Discussion Paper (PDF 230 KB) - Discussion Paper (Word 362 KB), between 17 March 2016 and 29 April 2016 with a high level ‘Call for Ideas’ from stakeholders. The Department received 108 responses to the consultation process. The information collected through the consultation process will be used to develop priority themes for the PTP for consideration by the Minister for Health and Aged Care. Once themes for the PTP have been developed, second and further tranches will include formal calls for submissions.

Over the coming months, the Department will continue to consult with a range of stakeholders and bodies as required.

This page will be updated, and identified stakeholders notified, when further information is available. If you have not already noted your interest to the Department and wish to be emailed regarding updates, you can register your interest by clicking on the subscribe button below and entering your name and email address.

Continuing Community Pharmacy Programs

The Sixth Agreement has a primary focus on assisting patients better manage their medications thereby reducing medication misadventure and delivering primary healthcare services through community pharmacy.

Under the Sixth Agreement, $613 million has been allocated to support community pharmacy programs that are continuing from the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement. These programs are listed below;
  • Dose Administration Aids
  • Staged Supply
  • Clinical Interventions
  • Home Medicines Reviews
  • Residential Medication Management Reviews
  • MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsCheck
  • Rural Pharmacy Workforce Program
  • Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Specific Programs
  • Electronic Prescription Fee
All continuing community programs and services will be assessed for clinical and cost effectiveness by an independent health technology assessment body, such as the Medical Services Advisory Committee. The TAG may also provide advice on any evidence generation processes required to inform cost-effectiveness assessments.

This process will ensure community pharmacy programs and services are assessed against the same standards of evidence as for other health professions. It supports a consistent approach to informing investment that delivers the greatest benefit to consumers, and will include existing programs and services, as well as investment in a range of new programs and services delivered through community pharmacy.

For more information on the community pharmacy programs, please visit Community Pharmacy Programs.

Key Activities and Dates

The key activities for the PTP in 2015-16 include:
  • Stakeholder consultation forum held 26 October 2015
  • Establishment of the Trials Advisory Group (TAG)
  • First TAG meeting held on 22 January 2016
  • Bilateral meetings with key stakeholders commencing in February 2016 and ongoing
  • TAG meeting on 15 March 2016
  • Release of a discussion paper with a ‘Call for Ideas’ in March 2016
  • TAG meeting on 24 August 2016 – Rescheduled
  • TAG meeting on 20 September 2016
  • TAG meeting on 30 November 2016– Rescheduled date to be advised

Trials Advisory Group - Membership

Name of member

Nature of


Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO


Pharmacy and national medicine policy

Dr Ian Coombes


Hospital pharmacist

Mr Mark Douglass


Community pharmacist

Dr Tony Hobbs


Primary health care

Dr Shane Jackson


Community pharmacist

Mr Grant Martin



Dr Vlad Matic



Ms Samantha Robertson


Evidence, health advice and governance

Dr Rashmi Sharma OAM


General practitioner

Mr Brett Simmonds



Mr Ian Todd


Community pharmacist

Ms Diane Walsh


Health care consumer

Dr Claire O'Reilly


Health technology assessment

Dr Lynn Weekes AM


Quality use of medicines and pharmacist education



Rural and remote practitioner

Contact Us

If you wish to contact the Department in relation to the PTP, you can do so via the Pharmacy Trial Programme email address: (

Relevant Links