PSA has a seat at the CPA table, but Guild still signs off on remuneration, Minister says as he confirms longer script lengths are under consideration
The PSA will be a co-signatory to the Seventh Community Agreement, Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed.
Speaking at PSA19 in Sydney today, Minister Hunt confirmed the 7CPA would be the first time PSA would be a co-signatory to a pharmacy agreement, and he expected their input would be vital in terms of developing service provisions, codes of ethics and other items within the agreement framework.
“PSA will not only be a co-signatory but also a critical part to the design,” he said. “I think that’s a really important thing that you have a seat at that table and that you have a fundamental role.”
However, due to the agreement legislative framework, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia will remain the only pharmacy signatory on remunerative matters.
Speaking to media after his address, Mr Hunt said “the heads of agreement under the National Health Act has to be done with the Guild on the remuneration elements. They’re actually a legal requirements”.
“In terms of the code of ethics, the services delivery, the practice delivery, they’re the elements that directly relate to the pharmacists and the PSA. We’re already working on those elements”.
When asked if this means the Guild would have final sign-off on remuneration for services, the Minister said “the nature of the services is something that we work on with the pharmacists, the remuneration by law is something we have to do with the Guild”.
The Minister also confirmed that PBAC recommendations to increase the prescription lengths of certain medicines from one to two months were still under consideration, as was reported yesterday following the release of Senate Estimates responses.
“What’s happened it that there were some proposals before by PBAC on a policy basis rather than a particular medicines recommendation which is where we focus generally,” Mr Hunt said.
“We’re consulting on that at the moment. It’s a carefully considered consultation because there are arguments for and against it. And even within the health sector there are very very different views.
“So we’re carefully consulting on that, which is actually what we said before the election and that continues to be the case.
“In fact we put in our letter to the Guild, which was released publicly during the election, we said that it’s a matter for consultation, there’s no final decision in either direction,” Mr Hunt said.