The power failure to the entire State of South Australia yesterday is a telling reminder of the benefits of Australia’s National Medicines Policy and value of the Community Service Obligation which underpins reliable supply of medicines, especially in times of natural disaster or crisis.
The people of South Australia, like citizens across the country, rely on a secure, reliable medicines delivery system that has back up and redundancy built into its very design.
“Full-line wholesalers and their pharmacy partners always put patients first. I am proud of the way that all pharmaceutical wholesalers always rise to the challenge and cooperate to get medicines delivered, come fire, high water or blackouts,” NPSA Chairman, Mark Hooper said.
“Pharmaceutical wholesalers hold hundreds of millions of dollars of medicines in their distribution centres at any one time,” said Mr Hooper. “The consequences for patients not getting their medicines during natural disasters could be catastrophic. Fortunately, all full-line wholesalers have invested in critical infrastructure including back-up facilities to maintain power, preserve the integrity of the medicines they hold and keep delivering essential medicines to patients. The importance of this collective investment was clearly demonstrated yesterday,“ he said.
Wholesalers play a vital role in the delivery of the National Medicines Policy, supplying around 6,200 PBS items to over 5,500 community pharmacies and millions of consumers throughout Australia. “Full-line wholesalers are the linchpins of the whole medicines supply system, for if full-line wholesaling was to break down, there is a risk that the whole medical prescribing and pharmaceutical service delivery system would break down with them. The Community Service Obligation Funding Pool provides the means to ensure Australia’s critical pharmaceutical wholesaling national infrastructure is securely maintained. It is a very worthy national investment for which the Australian Government is to be commended,” Mr Hooper said.
“NPSA members wish all the people of South Australia a safe and speedy return to business-as-usual,” he added.
Contact: Donna Staunton on 0413 185 724 or Donna Edman on 0419 850 174