Delaying the inevitable

Prof Stephen King

Pharmacists worried about what a late running report may recommend

Four out of five community pharmacists have concerns about or fear disaster from the recommendations of the overdue draft report of the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Panel.

The release of the report, which was initially due in mid-April, is believed to be imminent. But as yet there is no firm indication from the Department of Health as to when it will be released.

Most respondents to an AJP Daily poll expressed concerns about what may be recommended by the panel, which contains two members who have been publicly critical of current pharmacy regulations.

In total there were 252 respondents to the poll. Of these, 32% feared the report would be a ‘potential disaster’ for community pharmacy.

Another 25% said they thought the report’s recommendations would be ‘negative’. Another 23% said they had ‘concerns’ about the report.

Only 5% (12 voters) said they were ‘confident’ about the outcome.

Review panel chief Professor Stephen King generated a lot of press following his provocative insights into the panel’s review process and objectives at APP2016 in March.

Among other comments, he said pharmacists should be compared to other retailers when they are looked at in a business sense.

“You are retailers. So why shouldn’t we consider you as retailers and compare you to other retailers?” he asked.

Both Professor King (pictured), a health economist at Monash University, and fellow panel member Jo Watson of the Consumers Health Forum have gone public in their prior critique of aspects of pharmacy regulation.

Former Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria) president Bill Scott is the third member of the review panel.

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  1. David

    The root problem of pharmacy is that we have a PAUPER’S PBS. Think about this: veterinarians do NOT have a PBS. At all. How many poor vets do you know? For those of you who own an animal, you know from vet fees there are NO poor vets. A vet I know, comfortably pays for his six children; his wife has no need to work. So here is the solution: WITHDRAW from the PBS. Forever. It used to be a mechanism for promoting professional pharmacy fees. Now it is a government mechanism to impoverish pharmacy. Our thinking needs to change. Contradict me, if you can.

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      If you look at the PBS as something to keep pharmacists rolling in money, then of course you’ll come to that conclusion.

      The PBS isn’t about funding pharmacists, it’s about granting access to otherwise out-of-reach treatments. Even you veterinarian friend would struggle to cover the costs of a full course of treatment for leukaemia, for instance.

      The issue isn’t that the PBS exists – the issue is that our industry made the PBS it’s business model for too long and neglected the chance to create a diversified income base

  2. Ron

    The man pictured above is a buffoon, and an enemy of pharmacy. He has no business attending a pharmacy conference.

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