Poll: are GPs and pharmacists really at war?

tug of war

Do the “turf wars” between GPs and pharmacists really matter at the grassroots level?

Every week, it feels like GPs and pharmacists are at loggerheads again – whether the issue in question is the future of low-dose codeine, pharmacy’s expanded role in vaccination, pathology services being offered through community pharmacy or the RACGP’s proposal that doctors be permitted to dispense medicines.

In the last couple of months alone, high-profile GPs have told pharmacists to “stick to their knitting” and that providing screening in pharmacy is like having your car serviced at the lawnmower shop.

New PSA national president Dr Shane Jackson took to GP publication Medical Observer this month to call for an end to the “turf wars”.

“The average doctor or pharmacist doesn’t want turf wars between organisations,” Dr Jackson wrote.

“Pharmacists want to work closely with their medical counterparts. They don’t want to be doctors, they want to be pharmacists.

“If we sit down collectively in a considered way, focusing on the benefit that doctors and pharmacists bring to collaborative care, we can solve these issues.”

Do you agree with Dr Jackson? We’d like to know what you think of the “turf war” between GPs and pharmacists – tick as many boxes as apply in our poll below.

Previous 5 things you need to know about conception
Next What to do with your codeine stock after 1 February

NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Notachemist

    IMHO the turf war is about political gain and is generated by the advisors within medical organisations not the members. The medical organisations need to be seen to be protecting the territory of doctors and thus standing up for for their members.

    • Andrew

      Perhaps the days of 50% margins and millionaire owners have polluted the pharmacy brand. Now that the profession is struggling all a critic needs to do is to point to the protectionist moves of the past and the pivot towards retail (more high margins) – can’t blame them really.
      Russell Howecroft made a joke on Gruen a few years ago “the fastest way to break down a brick wall is to put a pharmacist on one side and a bag of money on the other – they’re incredible businessmen”.

      • JimT

        “the fastest way to break down a brick wall is to put a pharmacist on one side and a bag of money on the other – they’re incredible businessmen”.
        Break it down?…just walk around it !!

  2. JimT

    it’s all academic…………we should all be focusing on good patient outcomes and not going broke in the process.

    • Andrew

      Agreed. But the system that’s been built is that those services are funded by the huge margins in selling the other stuff. Now those margins are gone it’s a zero-sum game.

      • JimT

        like I said ….and not going broke in the process.

Leave a reply