Locals from the outer Newcastle suburb of Fletcher have signed a petition to have their only pharmacy, the Your Chemist Shop Fletcher, approved as a PBS pharmacy.
Currently the pharmacy operates as a non-PBS pharmacy due to “an unintended consequence of the Pharmacy Location Rules”.
Labor member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon tabled the petition last week, asking Health Minister Sussan Ley to exercise her discretionary power to approve the shop for PBS items.
“This geographical area is home to more than 12,000 residents, with a population growing at approximately 4% each year,” Ms Claydon said.
“This growth is driven primarily by young families moving into the area, who have every right to expect timely, reliable and affordable access to necessary medicines for their families.
“That is the role of our Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. Yet the only pharmacy in Fletcher, Your Chemist Shop Fletcher, currently operates as a non-PBS pharmacy, meaning these young families do not enjoy the timely, reliable or affordable access to PBS medicines that most Australians take for granted.
“As the population of Fletcher continues to grow, so too will the health needs of this community.
“Local pharmacies play an essential role in the provision of good public and preventative health outcomes, and this role is indisputably enhanced by access to the very wide range of prescription medicines available under the PBS.”
The petition says: ‘This community of more than 12,000 residents has been denied reasonable access to the supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits due to an unintended consequence of the application of the Pharmacy Location Rules
“The current level of one supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits to this community does not provide the population of more than 12,000 residents with reasonable, timely nor adequate access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS),” the petition reads.
“The current level of supply of Pharmaceutical Benefits does not allow residents to improve their health outcomes through access to, and quality use of, medicines in a timely manner.”
The petition was signed by 3,700 people.