‘Business as usual’ not an option: King Review

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‘Business as usual’ is not an option when it comes to the future of pharmacy, says PPA, in welcoming the King Review discussion paper.

CEO Chris Walton says that PPA has long advocated for reform about how Community Pharmacy Agreements are negotiated. Several of the Review paper’s 140 questions about the future of pharmacy queried the CPA arrangements and whether the sector needs them.

“The current model of pharmacy remuneration is too heavily focused on what a pharmacist does rather than what a health consumer needs – this runs contrary to the direction of the overall health system,” Walton says.

“The Review is right to question whether current arrangements deliver the best outcomes for patients.

“It is refreshing that questions about the pharmacy sector are at least being asked so that we can have an honest debate about the best way forward.

“In the past reviews have been thwarted as a few owners, making up a small proportion of the pharmacy profession, circle the wagons to protect business interests.

“That strategy has held back employee pharmacists and has not even worked for most owners,” Walton says.

“This discussion paper provides an important backdrop to a debate we must have if we want a model of pharmacy which leads to more time on complex interactions, medication reviews and collaboration with other health professionals

“With more than 230,000 medicine-related hospital admissions every year, ‘business as usual’ is not an option. The Review challenges all pharmacists to think deeply about the current situation and what models of pharmacy can deliver better outcomes for the community.

“The pharmacy landscape is already changing, the community will continue to demand expertise, convenience and accessibility.  Pharmacists will play an even bigger role in managing chronic conditions in the future.”

Walton says PPA is “not convinced” that the existing arrangements in pharmacy fully utilise pharmacists’ skills.

“In many ways employee pharmacists are the best-kept secret in health care. It is critical the review develops a model of pharmacy that benefits consumers and effectively utilises and recognises the skills of employee pharmacists.”

He encouraged pharmacists to share their views on the King Report.

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