What is the total remuneration provided in the new Agreement? And how has the $1.2b of funding for community pharmacy programs actually been divvied up? Here are the numbers
Remuneration and funding of approved pharmacists and others in the pharmaceutical supply chain is estimated to be $25.3 billion over the five years of the new Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) starting 1 July, according to the document sighted by AJP.
While the 7CPA signing was announced last Friday, the document itself has not yet been officially released by the government, although AJP has obtained a copy.
The total remuneration figure comprises Commonwealth contributions of $15.85 billion and patient contributions of $9.45 billion, covering pharmacy remuneration for dispensing, remuneration for wholesalers, community pharmacy programs, the CSO, and fees for pharmacy to distribute National Diabetes Services Scheme products.
We will breakdown these numbers over the coming days.
Meanwhile the Federal Government has promised to make $1.2 billion available in funding over the life of the 7CPA for professional pharmacy programs and services—an additional $100 million investment compared to actual expenditure in the 6CPA.
Indicative funding allocations for these programs has been written into the Agreement for the first financial year, from 1 July 2020 to the 30 June 2021.
“Then it’s up to the Guild and the government to work out the rest of the $1.2 billion that’s left in the Agreement. So there will be a lot of horse-trading going on in the first year, but the first year is actually locked in,” Pharmacy Guild national president George Tambassis told AJP.
Indicative funding allocations for continuing community pharmacy programs during the first financial year of the Agreement are written as follows:
- Medication Adherence Programs – $105.5 million
- Dose Administration Aids
- Staged Supply
- Medication Management Programs – $96.4 million
- Home Medicines Review
- Residential Medication Management Review
- Quality Use of Medicines in Residential Aged Care Facilities
- Diabetes MedsCheck
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Specific Programs – $12.6 million
- QUMAX/S100 Support
- Closing The Gap PBS Copayment Measure
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Workforce Programs
- Rural Support Programs – $24.6 million
- Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance
- Rural Workforce Programs
- E-health – $18 million
- Electronic Prescription Fee
- Other activity – $11 million
- Program administration, oversight and assessment
This adds up to an indicative total of $268.1 million over the course of the first year.
As stated in the 7CPA, the Commonwealth and the Guild agreed that these programs will remain “largely unchanged” during the first financial year.
However the Federal government committed to a 10% increase of the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance – with the intention to increase this further in subsequent years; a doubling of the base cap for Dose Administration Aids (DAAs) during the first financial year; and providing uncapped access to DAAs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Mr Tambassis said the increase of the cap for DAAs was a win for pharmacy.
“We want to make sure we capture as many pharmacies as possible, it’s been an outstanding success – the DAA remuneration – it’s been a long time coming,” he said.
The 7CPA includes a clause where the Commonwealth promises to maintain increased investment in those programs designed to support older Australians, particularly in the context of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
It is also written that the Department and the Guild will consult regarding possible implementation of new or enhanced initiatives for community pharmacy, covering areas such as e-prescribing, mental health, aged care and “any pharmacy program trial assessed as being suitable for ongoing funding”.
The cost of administering community pharmacy programs will be met from within the total pharmacy program funding, the Commonwealth highlighted.
Meanwhile any pharmacy trial program that is still in play will continue because that funding rolls over from the 6CPA.
More to come