The Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation will now involve a comprehensive financial analysis of the pharmacy sector, review chairman Stephen King says.
In a message to stakeholders, Professor King thanked those who provided submissions to the Review and who completed its online questionnaire, before highlighting the extended time frame of the Review and flagging the financial analysis.
“We received over 500 written submissions and over 2000 people completed the questionnaire,” Prof King said.
“All public submissions received may now be viewed on the Review’s webpage.”
He said it was pleasing to see submissions from across the board, from pharmacists to consumers, from industry to peak bodies, “all putting their view on just one issue to a range of issues raised in our Discussion Paper”.
“We wanted you to have your say,” Prof King said. “So it is pleasing to see that many key submissions have generated their own discussion in the media as different perspectives continue to be debated.
“From the wealth of this input the Panel remains hard at work developing our draft recommendations which will be presented for consideration in our Interim Report.
“In this regard, the Panel is particularly pleased that the Prime Minister and Minister for Health recently agreed to extend the timeframe for delivery of our Final Report.”
The final report will now be released by May 2017, which Prof King says will allow the panel the opportunity to consult thoroughly on the recommendations that will be contained in the Interim Report, which it is planning to release in early 2017.
“As further support to the development of our recommendations, the Panel has commissioned a range of consultancies to provide external expert advice, including an independent literature survey, general public and health representative group consultations, as well as focus group testing and analyses,” Prof King said.
“Key to our understanding of the environment in which government interacts with the business of pharmacy will be a comprehensive financial analysis of the sector.
“To inform this analysis the Panel will shortly be commissioning a targeted survey to directly obtain financial data from a broad cross-section of Australian community pharmacies.
“This will provide important information regarding the level and structure of remuneration for dispensing PBS medicines and the delivery of professional services.
“This will allow us to better understand community pharmacy’s current and possible future operating environments.”
Prof King said that continued input and support to the Review from stakeholders will ensure that the Panel has the best chance of making the most relevant recommendations on “how we can help community pharmacy continue to serve the health needs of Australians”.