The Health Minister Simon Harris has said he intends to increase investment in pharmacy services.
He was addressing delegates at the Irish Pharmacy Union's (IPU) national conference on Saturday.
He also committed to delivering a new contract with pharmacists and moving beyond FEMPI - which were measures introduced after the financial crisis.
Minister Harris said: "There are undoubtedly opportunities for community pharmacy contractors in the next decade and I look forward to engaging with the IPU to enhance the delivery of primary care services through community pharmacy."
"The role community pharmacy plays in delivering health services to our citizens is a vital one.
"Expansion of community pharmacy services is an important part of better primary care provision."
Welcoming the minister's commitment, president of the IPU Daragh Connolly said: "The IPU and our members strongly welcome Minster Harris's clear commitment to begin a process that will bring about reform, modernisation and contractual overhaul for community pharmacy similar to his engagement with GPs.
"This will move the delivery of community healthcare to 'higher terrain' that will ultimately bring huge benefits to patients and our communities."
Huge thanks to @SimonHarrisTD for addressing #IPUConference this morning, engaging with delegates, and committing to working with @IrishPharmacy to sustain #CommunityPharmacy, improve access to healthcare and implement #Sláintecare #ThinkPharmacy
— 𝔻arragh 𝕆'𝕃oughlin 🇮🇪🇺🇦 (@Darragh_OL) May 11, 2019
Pharmacists have consistently called for improved accessibility of contraception for women.
This includes the provision of oral contraceptives - the pill - without prescription and without charge.
Minister Harris echoed this and committed to working with pharmacists to achieve this in the coming months.
He concluded by suggesting pharmacists "can be the shopfront of Sláintecare" in towns and villages around Ireland.