The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has welcomed the passage of the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill through the Senate today, allowing the implementation of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement from 1 July.
The passage of the Bill provides certainty for Australia’s 5450 local community pharmacies, their patients, and their 60,000 staff.
The Bill gives effect to the PBS Access and Sustainability Package. The Package establishes pharmacy funding, medicines pricing arrangements and a range of sector measures to ensure ongoing access to innovative and generic medicines through a sustainable PBS.
It contains measures negotiated following consultations with a wide range of stakeholders from pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and consumer groups, says the Guild.
The Bill also extends the Location Rules from 1 July to mid-2020, which underpin the equitable distribution of pharmacies across the continent, and which enjoyed cross party support again today in the Senate.
These rules ensure that community pharmacies are appropriately spread across the country, meeting the needs of people for medicines and services wherever they live, says the Guild.
The 6CPA sets the remuneration pharmacies receive for dispensing PBS medicines, as well as the delivery of professional pharmacy programs with significant patient benefit.
“The 6CPA will deliver considerable benefits for Australian health care consumers over the coming five years,” says the National President of the Guild, George Tambassis.
“Fundamentally, the Agreement underpins the viability and ongoing delivery of medicines and services by the 5450 community pharmacies across Australia.
“Australians value and trust their local pharmacy, and this Agreement is vital to sustain those pharmacies and the services they provide.”