Pharmacy Services Support


In consultation with a number of key stakeholders, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services (KAMS) and Western Australia Country Health Service (WACHS) have developed a standard drug list for use in the Kimberley, the first edition being published in November 2005.

This standard drug list is largely defined by best practice guidelines and is intended to be used by Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services and remote government clinics. It is also intended to be reflected in hospital imprest systems. It is hoped that this process of drug rationalization promotes consistency of care across health services and consequently, have widespread benefits for both clinicians and patients.
In order to establish a regional consensus, the first stage of development involved circulation of a comprehensive drug list to Kimberley clinicians. The drug list included therapeutic classes relevant to the health priorities of the Kimberley population. Clinicians were asked to select their preferences in each therapeutic class and provide rationale for these preferences.

A two part format for the standard drug list was established as follows:

  1. Essential drug list

This list consists of drugs that the steering committee recommends should be easily accessible to the Kimberley population and hence, included in all clinic medication imprests.

  1. Supplementary list

This list consists of drugs that should be able to be accessed across the Kimberley, but will not be required by all clinics.
Therefore, it is at the discretion of the senior clinicians as to whether or not these drugs are included on the clinic’s imprest. Drugs on the supplementary list are included for specific indications.

The Standard Drug List also includes

  1. Emergency Drug List: Drugs for inclusion in Emergency drug kits
  2. Vaccines
  3. Non-prescription medicines

The list does not preclude prescribers from working outside the list, but rather provides a useful guide to medication which is readily available in the Kimberley for continued treatment.

A KSDL Review Committee has been established to facilitate the updating and ongoing maintenance of this standard list. The committee meets once a year to review any new drugs which have been added to the PBS, new clinical data that has been reported, and also to review any KSDL modification request forms submitted by clinicians.

The review takes into account the following criteria:

  • Evidence based medicine/clinical trial data
  • Regional preferences
  • PBS indications and authority status (if applicable)
  • Familiarity
  • Drug costs
  • Side Effect Profile/Interactions
  • Patient Compliance

Other Resources

Kimberley Standard Drug List Individual Patient Supply/Modification Request Form

KSDL Review and Updates

The KSDL is a constant work in progress, and will be reviewed annually by the KSDL Review Committee. Please review the Summary Table for the most recent changes to the KSDL.

For further information, please contact:

Joanna Martin – KAMS Pharmacist on (08) 9194 3233


Roy Finnigan – WACHS Regional Pharmacist on (08) 9194 2000


KAMS, together with WACHS have developed a number of Clinical Protocols and Guidelines for use throughout the Kimberley. They are designed to be used by healthcare professionals practising in Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services and remote government clinics, in conjunction with the Kimberley Standard Drug List.

The protocols relate to a number of chronic diseases and health topics that are relevant to the Kimberley. They include information on screening for each condition, principles of management and therapeutic protocols. Guidelines for when to refer to other health professionals and follow-up recommendations are also included in the protocols.


KAMS remote Aboriginal Health Services operate under the Section 100 scheme for supply of medication to their clients. The Section 100 Scheme has been in operation since 1999, when under the National Health Act 1953, provision was made for the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) medications to approved remote area Aboriginal Health Services (AHS). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who live in remote areas of Australia experienced a number of barriers to accessing essential medicines through the PBS.

These barriers included

  • Delays experienced in obtaining medication through the standard prescription based process
  • Difficulties experienced in demonstrating eligibility for concessional benefits under the PBS; and
  • Affordability issues

As a result the S100 supply arrangements were developed to overcome this. To be included in the S100 supply arrangements the remote area AHS is required to obtain government approval. Once this approval is granted, the approved AHS is able to order bulk supplies of PBS medications from an approved supplier, such as a community pharmacy or an approved hospital authority. Clients of the remote area AHS are able to receive their medications directly from the AHS at the time of consultation. A normal prescription is not required and the medication is supplied free of charge.


Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) strives to obtain the best possible use of medicines to improve health outcomes for people living in Australia. It centres around three main points:

  • Selecting management options wisely
  • Choosing suitable medicines if a medicine is considered necessary; and
  • Using medicines safely and effectively.

KAMS embraces all aspects of QUM and its clinics provide a number of support services aimed at improving the health outcomes for their clients. These include the provision of Dose Administration Aids, Home Medicine Reviews, QUM Education and Cultural Awareness.


KAMS recognises that education is a vital component of providing a comprehensive health care service. The KAMS Pharmacy Department develops and provides professional education events for staff throughout the Kimberley. In addition to this, the KAMS Pharmacist and Senior Aboriginal Health Worker also provide Community Information Sessions in the remote clinics of the Kimberley.


The KAMS Pharmacy Department assists in the delivery of Pharmacy and Medication related topics within the Aboriginal Health Worker Training program.