MEDIA RELEASE The National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) has called for a more robust assessment of the role Australia’s full-line wholesalers play in the delivery of the National Medicines Policy (NMP) in its response to the Review of Pharmacy Regulation and Remuneration’s Interim Report.
In its response, the NPSA outlined several general and specific concerns with the Interim Report’s findings, which fail overall to sufficiently recognise the complex, interdependent relationships that exist across the pharmaceutical supply chain and for the wholesaling industry in particular.
“The NPSA has expressed disappointment with the options put forward in the Interim Report. There is a lack of rigour in assessing the practical implementation and the subsequent implications, intended or otherwise, of its alternatives. In supplying our response, we have addressed those concerns and proposed alternate solutions,” NPSA Chairman Mark Hooper said.
The Interim Report outlines three alternative options relating to the distribution of medicines to community pharmacy. The Review Panel’s preferred alternative (6-1) suggests putting the obligation of medicine delivery directly on manufacturers through a panel of distributors, while the second (6-2) retains the Community Service Obligation (CSO). The last of the three alternatives (6-3) suggests a “separate review of the CSO to ensure current arrangements demonstrate value for money”.
“Implementing a Manufacturer Distribution Model offers no obvious benefit and has significant drawbacks, including greater regulatory burden for government; greater administrative burden for pharmacy; increased risks to medicines availability due to diminished system redundancy; greater complexity across the supply chain and the potential for market power imbalance,” Mr Hooper said. “It is not supported by NPSA and we are yet to find an industry association in the entire medicines sector who does,” he added.
“We are talking about a critical medicine supply chain that underpins the Government’s own NMP. In the interests of Australian consumers and our community pharmacy customers who are dependent on it, CSO wholesalers remain committed to finding a workable outcome for Government and sustainable remuneration for the sector,” NPSA Chairman Mark Hooper said.
A copy of NPSA’s submission can be found here
The National Pharmaceutical Services Association represents CSO wholesalers Australian Pharmaceutical Industries, National Pharmacies, Sigma Healthcare and Symbion.
Contact: Donna Edman on 0419 850174 or Myles Wallace on 0432 866 094