Pharmacy’s $600m windfall

The Health Minister is expected to follow through with promised 6CPA funding for community pharmacy programs

After Minister Greg Hunt announced at APP 2017 that the government was working “very positively” towards releasing the $600m for community pharmacy programs, the move is now close to being secured, according to media reports.

The funding had been promised to the pharmacy sector as part of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, to boost pharmacist services including HMRs, DAAs, MedsChecks, rural support programs, e-health and more.

It is expected to be announced as part of the Budget next month.

“The Government is having constructive discussions with a number of sectors including the Pharmacy Guild, Australian Medical Association, Royal Australian College of GPs and Medicines Australia aimed at improving access to doctors, reducing the cost of medicines and improving health outcomes,” a spokesperson for the Minister told the AJP.

Minister Hunt is also expected to reach a compromise with the Pharmacy Guild over the risk share dispute surrounding a shortfall in prescription volumes over 2015-16, with the Guild calling for a reimbursement of $82 million to pharmacies.

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  1. kingswaycompounding

    This is NOT a ‘$600m Windfall”! “The funding had been promised to the pharmacy sector as part of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement”…and its nearly 2 years overdue!

  2. Robert King

    lets just look at the definition of “windfall”….

    a large amount of money that is won or received unexpectedly.

    synonyms: bonanza, jackpot, pennies from heaven, unexpected gain; piece/stroke of good luck, godsend, manna from heaven

    Lets not let a good headline get in the way of the facts. As the writer acknowledges, this $600m funding for community pharmacy is part of the 6th CPA, nothing more than that. This money very simply formed part of the funding required to keep Australias network of community pharmacy viable, and part of the funding required to further develop and deliver new and existing pharmacy services.

    This issue should never have arisen, but pharmacy should be pleased we seem to have a minister who is willing to honour an agreement entered into in good faith, an agreement which is clearly delivering a sustainable PBS, as well as assisting in the development of cost effective health solutions.

  3. Andre Kung

    If you get paid what is due to you it is not a windfall!

  4. JimT

    If business is getting a “back-pay” from Govt. then will employees-pharmacists and shop assistants get some as well…………….I don’t think so !!!!!

    • Ashim Marfatia

      Thankfully Jim, all our employees, pharmacists, and assistants were all fully paid their agreed remuneration during the extended periods of time we, as owners, await our agreed sums from the government. In good faith, and out of respect for our valued staff we couldn’t do to them what the government continues to do to us. So, no need for “back pay”. I would be disappointed (and very surprised) if your employer passed his or her financial hardship onto you.

      • Andrew

        >>>>I would be disappointed (and very surprised) if your employer passed his or her financial hardship onto you.

        Oh really? Didn’t the union of employers spend quite a bit of money preparing a submission supporting cuts to weekend penalty rates for staff who are already some of the lowest paid in Australia? And that part of their argument was that retail pharmacy was not viable because of said weekend penalty rates, and that reducing them would in fact make the business viable?

  5. Drugby

    Hopefully some of the $600M will support existing programs like HMRs and RMMRs. Access by consumers to these programs have been significantly restricted due to budgetary constraints in previous CPAs. With the release of these funds, hopefully these restrictions will be changed so consumers can benefit from evidence-based, cost-effective care provided by pharmacists in collaboration with GPs.

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