Hunter leads the way in medications trial

Yasmin Catley

Minister for the Hunter

Member for Swansea


Hunter leads the way in medications trial


Hunter locals have accessed nearly 2,000 consultations for everyday medications from community pharmacists, under the NSW Government’s pharmacy prescription trial.


Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Maitland are among the top five council areas for the trial across the state.


Between 1 July 2023 and 18 January 2024, there were 535 medication consultations in Newcastle - the third best take-up in the state. Lake Macquarie recorded 511, Maitland 326.

The take-up rate was also high in Port Stephens which recorded 264 consultations, Cessnock 135 and MidCoast Council 121.

There were 49 consultations in Singleton, 19 in Muswellbrook, 18 in the Upper Hunter and 7 in Dungog.


The trial enables pharmacists to dispense medications for uncomplicated urinary tract infections and low-risk oral contraceptive pills.

Allowing pharmacists to dispense everyday medications takes pressure off local GPs across the Hunter.


It’s part of the NSW Government’s plan to improve access to GPs for those who need it most. At the same time, it addresses cost of living pressures by reducing medical expenses for everyday medications.


More information about the clinical trial and a list of participating community pharmacies is available at:


NSW Minister for Health Ryan Park said:

“Over the course of this trial so far, we have seen over 8,000 people across New South Wales access everyday medications that they would have otherwise had to go to a GP for.


This is part of our broader effort to relieve the pressure on our GPs, which includes the rollout of 25 urgent care clinics across the state.”


Minister for the Hunter and Member for Swansea Yasmin Catley said:

“Everyone deserves to access the medication they need in a timely and affordable way.”

“This trial is just six months in and already the results are showing it’s a success across the Hunter.”


“Hunter locals rely on accessible and affordable healthcare. I’m proud to be part of the NSW Government that’s rebuilding and supporting these essential services.”