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Trimethoprim reclassification a win for patients


5 December 2012

Trimethoprim reclassification a win for patients

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) fully supports the reclassification of the antibiotic trimethoprim so that women suffering from urinary tract infections (UTI) can easily access treatment from their community pharmacist. The service is available in many community pharmacies nationwide.

A submission to reclassify trimethoprim was lodged with Medsafe in January 2012 with the support of pharmacists and sector organisations like the Guild. “This reclassification is great news for New Zealand women,” says Karen Crisp, Executive Chair of the Guild. “Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals and are easily accessible within the community. It is safe and convenient for patients to be able to get appropriate treatment from their pharmacist. Any woman who has experienced the discomfort of a UTI will be delighted with this news.”

Over 100 pharmacists have completed the specific training course for prescribing trimethoprim, with more completing their training over the next month. Once trained, these pharmacists are able to offer this treatment to women aged between 16 and 65 who are suffering from a UTI. The patient will need to have a consultation with a trained pharmacist to determine if this is the appropriate treatment for them. If it is appropriate, trimethoprim is available to women who have an uncomplicated urinary tract infection, if they are not pregnant and have not taken a course of antibiotics within the previous six months.

As the medicines experts, pharmacists will always refer patients to a general practitioner, where necessary, and provide advice to patients if they do not meet the criteria.

• The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (Inc) is a national membership organisation representing community pharmacy owners. We provide leadership on all issues affecting the sector and we advocate for the business interests of community pharmacy.
• For additional information on the Guild and community pharmacy, please go to

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