Chaos returns


Malcolm Turnbull

Election 2016 leaves pharmacy in a state of flux

As Australia faces a hung Parliament and years of political deals and recriminations, community pharmacy confronts potentially months of delay on key planks of its future.

The release of the draft discussion paper from the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation (King) Review has been put on hold by the election, and will now move further into the future.

Given some of the controversial issues review head Professor Stephen King raised at APP 2016 earlier this year, many owners are urgently waiting to see what recommendations the panel would focus on in this discussion paper.

While not specifically tied to the election program, the long-awaited final decision on codeine rescheduling had also bee moved to a suspiciously post-election date. This was initially meant to have been decided in November 2015.

In addition, the fate of a raft of health budget savings measures is now even more uncertain given whoever forms government will have to negotiate with an increased Senate cross-bench.

However the cross-bench should be more amenable to pharmacy given the success of pharmacy supporter Senator Nick Xenophon and his team – looking likely to take three South Australian Senate places.    

Meanwhile hospital pharmacist Emma McBride was one of a number of successful ALP candidate to win seats off the government.

McBride, 40, is Deputy Director of Pharmacy for Central Coast Local Health District. The daughter of former state Labor MP Grant McBride, she won the NSW seat of Dobell.

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