Joint call to recognise role of pharmacy beyond dispensing

Terry White shopfront

Terry White, Chemmart call on review to recognise role of pharmacists beyond dispensing

Terry White Chemists, Chemmart and Chemplus pharmacies have called on the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation to support the current funding system and recognise the role pharmacists play beyond dispensing.

In their combined submission to the review, the group – representing 500 community pharmacies across Australia – argues that the cross-subsidy inherent in the dispensing fee supports the timely and targeted delivery of a broad range of services that would cost more under the fee-for-service model.

“Dispensing medicines and providing meaningful pharmacy services is not ‘ordinary commerce’, and the current system needs to be enhanced – not destroyed,” says Anthony White, CEO of Terry White Group.

“It underpins patient-centric care provided by pharmacists to patients across Australia. It is the bedrock of a system that not only delivers great outcomes for patients but also great value to government.

“The role Australia’s network of accredited community pharmacies plays in providing health care services should be recognised and the roadblocks to broadening their health care role should be removed.”

The group’s submission includes case studies provided by pharmacists from across the group, demonstrating how their level of patient care goes well beyond the dispensary every day, as well as 20 key recommendations.

Among the recommendations is that current services are maintained and that new fees are introduced for evidence-based professional services that will deliver greater choice and value.

The submission points out that consumers would benefit from being able to access many new services in their local pharmacy if the current regulatory and legislative roadblocks were removed.

For example, a broad range of immunisation services are currently not available in pharmacies and there are some medicines that could be provided to consumers without a GP script if the rules were relaxed and appropriate pharmacy protocols developed.

The submission also argues that the Pharmacy Board of Australia should be empowered to more actively monitor compliance with their Guidelines for Proprietor Pharmacists to help address concerns that pharmacies could take advantage of the cross-subsidy and further lift standards of patient care.

“With the weight of 500 Terry White Chemists, Chemmart and Chemplus pharmacies behind this submission, the Review will hear a compelling message from a united group,” Anthony says.

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