The National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) has joined the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia in calling on the Federal Government to immediately increase pharmacy remuneration in response to recent changes to the price disclosure regime for PBS medicines.
On Friday (August 2), the Government revealed in its Economic Statement that it intended to fast track the current price disclosure arrangements from 1 October 2014 and save a further $2 billion over the four years to 2016-17.
NPSA President Patrick Davies said pharmacists and wholesalers alike would feel significant impact and the industry would be under increasing pressure with additional financial strain.
“These changes are putting the viability of the community pharmacy network at risk,” Mr Davies said.
“The industry is already under intense pressure from government savings initiatives and decreasing margins – further cuts will not only hurt businesses but will also impact on patient care.
“To have this policy change announced without industry consultation once again is disappointing. It undermines the collaborative work achieved between Government and pharmacy on so many fronts.
“The NPSA supports calls on politicians from both major parties to commit to increasing pharmacy remuneration in the next financial year.
“Community pharmacies are a critical part of the Australian healthcare system because of the value-added health advice and services they provide. These services will be the first to be cut when pharmacists are looking for savings, and so the effects of further cuts would be significant.”
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