“Certainty and stability” ensured, Guild believes as bill passes both houses  

The National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits – Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2017 has now passed through the Senate,

In the words of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia the bill provides “much needed certainty and stability for Australia’s 5700 community pharmacy small businesses”.

Among other measures, the bill abolishes the sunset clause of the Pharmacy Location Rules, ensuring that the rules do not automatically expire at the end of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement in June 2020.

“The Government’s commitment to removing the sunset clause was part of the 2017 Pharmacy Compact,” the Guild said in a media statement.

“The Guild thanks the Government for taking this important initiative”.

Welcoming the passage of the legislation, Guild national president, George Tambassis, said: “This measure is in recognition of the fact that community pharmacies need certainty and stability to continue investing in their small businesses and employing staff to serve the health care needs of their patients. We thank the Government, the Opposition and the Australian Greens for supporting the passage of this legislation.”

The bill had passed the House of Representatives earlier, and contains a raft of measures designed to reduce PBS expenditure.

While not referring explicitly to location rules when speaking on the bill in House this week, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt thanked the Guild – singling out Mr Tambassis, “another extraordinary leader”, Mr Hunt said, along with “David Quilty, his incredibly capable executive director, along with board member Trent Twomey.”  

Click here to see more detail on the measures contained in the amendment.