The CSO wholesalers have welcomed the certainty provided to the pharmacy industry as a result of the finalisation of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement – but say there was a missed opportunity.
Importantly, the 6CPA secures the continuation of the Community Service Obligation which is paid to CSO wholesalers to ensure that Australians have timely access to PBS medicines, the wholesalers say.
National Pharmaceutical Services Association President Patrick Davies says he congratulates the Government and the Guild on reaching an agreement which invests in patient-focused pharmacy programs and provides increased funding for community pharmacy.
However, Davies describes the absence of a floor in the pharmacist’s wholesale margin as “a missed opportunity”.
“The NPSA argued consistently for the introduction of a floor in the wholesale margin that would have given pharmacy owners much greater protection from the impact of falling PBS unit prices,” he says.
“However, it is positive that the overall funding available to pharmacy has been increased which will assist in offsetting the impacts that will inevitably flow from this.”
Davies says he welcomes increased flexibility within the new CSO arrangements as this will promote supply chain efficiency and some necessary flexibility for the CSO wholesalers.
“The 6CPA has delivered a good outcome in terms of overall funding for pharmacists and certainty for the industry,” he says.
“From our point of view, we have a clear picture of the road ahead.”