7CPA: The wish list

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With 7CPA negotiations due to kick-off later this year, AJP speaks to senior pharmacy leaders to get their agreement ‘wish lists’  

AJP took the opportunity to speak to some senior pharmacy leaders during APP2019 to get their bottom line ‘must haves’ they want to achieve in the upcoming Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations

We asked them: “If there was one item you want to get across the line in the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement, what would it be?” 

George Tambassis (National President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia): Well I’m going to pull rank here and nominate two things.

Firstly, to make sure we abolish a flawed policy in the $1 PBS discount.

Secondly, that we get the full allocation of whatever funds we negotiate in the 7CPA. This unfortunately doesn’t look like it will happen with the 6CPA funds.

Click here to see the full interview

David Heffernan (President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia NSW): I’m looking for an agreement that maintains and sustain the viability of the community pharmacy network. If the government wants us to deliver all these services, they have to pay for them.

My number one wish would be to see a reasonable average script price. Say $14 and above.

Click here to see the full interview

Anthony Tassone (President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia Victoria): Assuming we can’t get the issue of the optional $1 PBS co-pay discount resolved before the agreement, and it looks like we won’t, then I’d say that would be my number one.

Click here to see the full interview

Trent Twomey (President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia QLD, and head of the Guild’s 7CPA negotiating team): Firstly, the government needs to acknowledge they can’t squeeze any more savings out of the community pharmacy network. They need to invest in it.

Secondly, I want to see the agreement unleash the power of community pharmacy – for us to become a health hub, where we increase our services to play a leading role in providing essential services, in aged care, in closing the gap in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, in decreasing the burden of preventable emergency department presentations.

I want the agreement to make sure pharmacy can practice to its full scope.

Click here to see the full interview

Chris Freeman (PSA national president): I think we need to advocate for pharmacists in community pharmacy to provide flexible consultations so they can provide a service tailored to patients and get remunerated for that. 

We need to see a shift in the funding framework to facilitate that, and that would be high on my list of agenda items. 

Click here to see the interview

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  1. Bruce ANNABEL

    Is that the best they can do? At least Chris Freeman appeared to be working from a plan/vision.

    • Anthony Tassone


      The question in the interview was, ‘what is one thing you would like to see from the 7th Community pharmacy agreement.’

      Whilst the headline says ‘Wish list’, the question was for one thing.

      I won’t speak to the responses of others but the reason for my response of addressing the optinoal copayment discount, and making medicines more affordable medicines for all Australians was to also not potentially see what occurs in New Zealand where the copayment of $5 per prescription can be discounted to zero.

      That is not in the interests of quality use of medicines, patient safety, best cost effectiveness for a public insurance system and sustainability of the network that helps deliver national medicines policy.

      This was top of mind for me given our recent advocacy on the subject and pre-budget submission to the Federal government.

      There are many things that the Guild will strive to achieve through the 7CPA negotiations, which our national council has identified based on ongoing consultation with our members and informed by the CP2025 strategic vision plan and the international and local quantitative and qualitative consumer research undertaken.

      Anthony Tassone
      President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria Branch)

  2. Andrew

    Interested to know how Twomey as lead Guild negotiator balances his significant pecuniary interests in retail pharmacy against the public benefit and improving health outcomes from CPA funding. That’s not even mentioning the “other stuff”.

    A conflict of interest like that would never be allowed to exist elsewhere. HTF it manages to be the norm here is astounding.

    • Ex-Pharmacist

      Andrew, on the contrary, from the Guilds point-of-view, Twomey is the perfect person to lead the Guild 7CPA negotiations. His ‘significant pecuniary interests’ increases his Guild endorsement, not lessens it. Remember the Guilds national council decides the makeup of the CPA negotiating team.
      Re: “Public Benefit” & improving health outcomes, I think you may misunderstand the Guilds role in CPA negotiations.
      The Government represents the public interests in these negotiations, and seeks to get maximum public benefit for a minimum outlay of tax-payer funds.
      The Guild’s position is the opposite to the government, that is, to extract as much money from the government for its members while minimising the work required to get it.
      It really is as simple as that.

      • Tim Hewitt

        Dear nameless ex-pharmacist…
        First, have the guts to stand by your opinions and post under your real name.. I’m surprised AJP allows anonymous comment frankly…
        Second, your view is, as always, very cynical and as usual, ‘having a go’ at the Guild for doing its job.. like you used to I assume.)
        But you are right, the GOVERNMENT, a somewhat powerful organisation with almost limitless resources when it decides it wants to use them DOES in fact represent the ‘people of Australia’, tax payers, non tax payers, ex-pharmacists, and others.., so yes, its their job to negotiate the CPA (or go back to the PBRT, as they see fit).. they do hold all the cards, the money, the legislative power.. etc.. the Pharmacists who own the infrastructure via which the PBS is delivered, are represented by the Guild, and they VOTE for those reps to do that job, Mr Twomey included.
        CPA ‘negotiations’ are not a court, or a royal commission, or whatever, that welcomes áll comers’.. BUT ANYONE who wants to be part of ‘the game’ can either stand for parliament, OR gain pharmacy registration, become a pharmacy owner … and knock themselves out.. plenty of *** heads have done it..

        • Michael Post

          Anonymous posting is not an issue Tim given the power imbalance between the have owners and have not non- owner pharmacists.
          The Guild do not represent the interests of the great majority of pharmacists and yet the Guild negotiate the CPA budget.
          I spoke to a former pharmacist colleague yesterday with a family working full time earning less than she did in 2007 ! What do you think she and the majority of unrepresented pharmacists would wish for?

  3. Debbie Rigby

    I’d like to hear the wish list of the average pharmacist – community pharmacy owners, employees and accredited pharmacists.

    • Karalyn Huxhagen

      My wish list is still the same as it has been for the 5,6 and now 7 CPA. Programs that have realistic business modelling that allows us to
      Practice at our full potential for a reasonable RTI. Current programs are often minimalistic in RTI and so are watered down to a minimal effort level. Every CPA we are forced to put major effort into new program trials that may/may not continue. They are all hard work and burdensome as a trial. But we have programs with evidence to support their role in primary health care which are NEVER given a fair set of program rules eg HMR. My wish is to stop racing off and imposing burdensome hard to implement programs on community and accredited pharmacists and build up existing programs to sustainable models of practice.

      • Ex-Pharmacist

        Or do you mean ROI? (Return On Investment)

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