Deregulation proponents ‘flat earthers’

Former Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president Kos Sclavos has compared people who support pharmacy deregulation to ‘flat earthers’

Speaking at the Guild Pharmacy Assistant National Conference on the Gold Coast, Sclavos said that the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation offers community pharmacy’s friends and supporters to speak out in support of the sector, but also gives a platform to its enemies.

for example, “it’s an opportunity for us to say that the wholesalers are not properly remunerated.”

But the “economic rationalists and flat earthers” supporting deregulation fail to take into account that opening up pharmacy more to market forces would impact accessibility, he said.

He cited the fact that community pharmacy is one of very few industries still growing in rural and regional Australia.

Sclavos also took aim at discounters for offering discounted scripts that do not count towards the Safety Net.

This devalues the work done by pharmacists when dispensing and counselling and sets a low price benchmark for the service, Sclavos told delegates.

“It’s discounting the professional fee, discounting the AHI,” he said.

Down the track this could lead to Government asking itself, “Why are we killing ourselves paying the pharmacist… Pharmacists can do this stuff for nothing”.

“That’s the message they’re sending,” he said.

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  1. pagophilus

    When your argument is not convincing and lacks substance, call people names.

    • William

      I agree; requiring special status for dispensers is not justified and smacks of trade protectionism. Small packs of reduced schedule products can be safely sold in supermarkets and the route trade.

  2. FakeMoralOutrage

    Time for another homily, but first the usual preface being that this is written with all due respect to my current employers who are still practicing pharmacy despite the sad, grubby mess around them.

    I think the real ‘Flat-Earthers’ in this situation are actually alive and well within our so-called “representative body” who seem to think that the future lies in more interventional programmes, increased responsibilities and additional workload with barely a mention of any commensurate upward movement in wages.Their Luddite view of things seems to involve Ye Olde Compoundinge Apothecarye working harder and quite possibly beyond their insured jurisdictions for the same rate as he/she did back in 2009.

    Proof of their ignorance (and possible fear of dragons) is apparent when many others have already acknowledged that the once noble practice of pharmacy has now degenerated into a casual sales job. A simple comparison with other professions will easily blow pharmacy into the weeds for numerous reasons already mentioned elsewhere. Anyone starting their studies now can only expect locum work for a large part of their career unless someone at their pharmacy resigns or if they are brave enough to open one of their own.

    I will only grudgingly agree with the REAL Flat Earthers on the devauation of pharmacy as a whole. The discounting of prices and services has goes beyond the dollar value and has cheapened the idea of pharmaceutical practice to a point now where it is irretrievably broken. Going to a pharmacy is no longer a meaningful interaction as Ye Olde Apothecarye is now under pressure from any of several regulatory bodies (seriously, how many are there !?), commercial groups and others who, despite not even being pharmacists, somehow have inserted themselves in positions of power to tell Ye Olde Apothecarye what to do. I’m sure we all know of a BDM somewhere that doesn’t even know what enalapril is, but somehow lectures us on how to be pharmacists.

    Mr. Sclavos is correct in the above quote (copied below):
    “Down the track this could lead to Government asking itself, “Why are we
    killing ourselves paying the pharmacist… Pharmacists can do this stuff
    for nothing”.”

    The simple truth is, WE ALREADY ARE ! The fact that he and his toadies are pretending that it might be a potential future consequence when in all reality, its happening right now is enough to make one wonder who the real “Flat Earthers” are.

    In closing, the system is broken and deregulation is not be the solution to all the issues in one fell swoop. In fact, a sudden, massive deregulation will indeed ruin the efforts and livelihoods of bona fide pharmacists simply aiming to operate and develop a business. Who knows how it would affect the High Rollers of pharmacy and quite frankly, I doubt if any of us really care.

    Until then, the exit rate of pharmacists from the profession will continue unabated come the day when the risks we run and the pressures we face are remunerated properly. Don’t hold your breath though…

  3. Toby

    Nice one, Kos.

  4. Paige

    Just remember that it is people like Kok Sclavos that stand to lose the most from deregulation, while he and his bretheren treat you and your friends like filth. Remember that while you read these articles.

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