The Pharmacy Guild of Australia says it will work constructively with the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Review Panel on the basis that they will take an objective and evidence-based approach to their task.
The Guild issued a statement saying it welcomes the appointment of the distinguished Victorian community pharmacist Bill Scott to the Review Panel.
Scott is a highly respected senior figure in community pharmacy who will bring a depth of knowledge to the Review process, the Guild says.
“He has a wealth of knowledge as a pharmacy owner, a clinician, and an innovator in e-health and aged care.”
The Guild notes that the other two appointees, Professor Stephen King, Professor of Economics at Monash University, and Jo Watson, the Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum, are recently on the public record – either individually or, in the case of Watson, through the CHF – in relation to pharmacy regulation and the Location Rules.
“The CHF, of which Ms Watson is Deputy Chair, has well known and frequently espoused views on community pharmacy regulation, the Location Rules and remuneration of pharmacies,” the Guild says.
“Professor King recently stated in an Australian Financial Review article he jointly authored that pharmacy ownership restrictions and the Location Rules are anti-competitive and should be removed.
“The Guild trusts that the panellists are not coming to this Review with pre-determined positions and that all issues will be considered on the merits.
“Consumer surveys consistently show patients value and trust their local pharmacy. This Review provides the opportunity to reinforce and enhance the value and contribution of community pharmacy to the PBS and to broader patient health outcomes.
“The Guild agreed to the Review during the Sixth Agreement negotiation as a means of informing pharmacy remuneration for the Seventh Agreement and addressing any anomalies around the Location Rules, which have been legislated to mid-2020.”