Asthma affects approximately 10 per cent of the Australian population and when assessed, half of these people have poorly controlled asthma.


The Pharmacy Trial Program – Asthma and Rhinitis Control (PTP-ARC) study, also known as the ‘Getting asthma under control using the skills of the community pharmacist’ trial addressed the need to improve clinical outcomes for the Australian population at risk of uncontrolled asthma, by extending the role of pharmacists in the delivery of primary health care services through community pharmacies.


It is part of the Pharmacy Trial Program (PTP), which is funded by the Australian Government under the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement to trial new approaches for pharmacy services.

The National Asthma Council Australia is one of eight organisations involved in the project, led by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.


The trial took place in pharmacies across New South Wales, Western Australia and Tasmania. It commenced in July 2018 and was completed in February 2020.


The trial was based on pharmacists:

  • Identifying patients with poorly controlled asthma using the Asthma Control Questionnaire
  • Assessing possible causes of poor control;
  • Referring patients with unknown causes or complex issues to their GP; and
  • Delivering the intervention to eligible patients. 

These proposed interventions can be easily integrated into a pharmacists’ workflow and were delivered through pharmacist consultations over a 12-month period. It targets three key factors associated with uncontrolled asthma:

  • Poor adherence: characterised by underuse of preventer medication and/or overuse of reliever medication
  • Suboptimal inhaler technique and/or
  • Uncontrolled allergic rhinitis

The two trial arms compared intervention pharmacies delivering the service with control pharmacies identifying patients then providing GP referral instead of delivering the service.  


Results of the study will be released upon completion of an independent Health Technology Assessment.


For further information please contact the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research: [email protected]


The project is a collaboration between the following organisations:


The trial’s project team is being guided by a representative Expert Advisory Group of key industry stakeholders, with the National Asthma Council Australia as secretariat. 

The Group comprises representatives from: