A story in The Australian newspaper this morning contains rumour and misinformation aimed at destabilising the current negotiations for a new Community Pharmacy Agreement, the Pharmacy Guild says.
The Guild is negotiating the new five-year Community Pharmacy Agreement in good faith with the intention of concluding an agreement ready to commence on 1 July 2015, and in compliance with formal written confidentiality agreements also entered into by the Government representatives.
The Guild will not be deterred by leaks and spin aimed at misrepresenting the Guild’s position, it said in a statement today.
“This morning’s newspaper story contains a garbled account of the current state of the negotiations, laced with deliberate distortions aimed at portraying the Guild adversely,” says the Guild.
“For example, we categorically reject the assertion that the Guild is ‘resisting’ accountability in the Agreement, or ‘holding out’ for higher funding.
“It is imperative that Guild takes into account the impact of both the positives and the negatives in any Agreement package.”
It has been widely reported that the Government is linking the Agreement to a very large amount of savings from the wider PBS with figures of around $6 billion over five years speculated upon, it says.
These savings would have a significant negative flow-on impact on pharmacies and must be taken into account when assessing the net value of any Agreement offer.
When the impact of these savings and other unsecured promises is taken into account, the Guild estimates that the bankable net value for community pharmacies of an $18.9 billion offer is just over $16 billion.
This compares with the $15.7 billion in the Fifth Agreement, entered into five years ago.
Pharmacies would have an 8% real cut in their total remuneration compared to the last Agreement despite being expected to dispense 10% more scripts.
The Guild says it will not agree to any offer unless it is in the interests of community pharmacies and their patients.