Poll: Are MedsChecks ‘double-dipping’?

pills on $20 note

A Federal Senator recently questioned whether MedsChecks represent pharmacists being paid for ‘doing their job’. Do you agree? 

A Federal Senator questioned whether pharmacies should be remunerated for providing services such as the 6CPA MedsCheck program.

During the June round of Senate Estimates Committee hearings, Department of Health officials flagged audits of several pharmacy programs, including those for the provision of Consumer Medicines Information and for MedsChecks.

In one encounter, Senator Stirling Griff (Nick Xenophon Team, SA) questioned whether pharmacies should be remunerated for providing MedsChecks.

In response to his question asking what should happen if a patient experiences a significant medical event within a year of having a MedsCheck, Julianne Quaine, assistant secretary, PHI and Pharmacy Branch, of the Department’s Technology Assessment and Access Division said: “If a patient is still accessing a community pharmacist and accessing medicines, the pharmacist certainly does have a professional obligation to answer any of their questions about the medicines or discuss any issues they are having in terms of side-effects. That is part of the pharmacist’s normal professional practice.

Senator Griff said in response “does this mean that also pharmacists who participate in MedsCheck are effectively being paid extra to do a job that they should already be doing as part of their responsibilities?”

“No, I think the MedsCheck is over and above the normal professional practice of a pharmacist,” Ms Quaine responded.

We wanted to see if our readers agreed with the Senator or not:


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  1. Greg Cadorin

    It is part of a pharmacists job. Agreed. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be paid for.

    Most professions expect to be paid for doing their job, why should pharmacy be the exception?

  2. Joe Lamhut

    Try getting a free consult at the doctors !

  3. Vas

    At the pharmacy I work at it is the owner who gets the funding for 6CPA and medschecks. I don’t get a penny even though I did the work. There should be a way for pharmacist workers to get renumeration, not just the owners.

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      You weren’t paid a wage for the time you spent providing the services? You need to report that to the authorities.

      If you mean you should be paid in addition to your wage, you should negotiate that with your employer, but you should expect them to also share with you the costs of providing the service, such as electricity, rent, wages, etc.

    • Amandarose

      I see it as part of the job your employed and negotiate an wage for.

  4. Amandarose

    If they are done well with 30minutes taken to do it then no- it is not double dipping but what I have witnessed in several pharmacies is fraud- a computer history handed out with no advice and a sign here please.
    Another issue is those pharmacies claims a MedsCheck before passing a HMR onto the pharmacist ( constant issue) they see it as their commission for work not done. They should be audited for this.
    One other issue with “double dipping”comment is – it would be i for pharmacist renumeration was adequate but as it is it has been changed so these basic services always provided without out additional cost no weight need renumeration as dispensing fees no longer cover it.
    I just with those claiming it would do it properly so it does not get defunded.

  5. PharmOwner

    Pharmacists expect to be paid for doing their job? Shock, horror! Except we all know pharmacists are paid a pittance for doing their job. If the good Senator only knew how poorly pharmacists are paid perhaps he’d see things differently.

  6. JimT

    If pharmacists and doctors and any one else that may be applicable were doing their jobs RIGHT ANYWAY then why are there soo many people in hospital due to medication errors/problems.
    There has to be some checks and balances and Meds Check is a valuable one!!!

  7. JimT

    and about getting paid for doing our job anyway 1. Pharmacists award wages definitely do not reflect in any way the work we do. 2. We are over worked as it is which is a consequence of PBS payments to employers not being able to afford to allocate adequate staff resources to dispensaries. 3. with the huge decline in the average wholesale prices over the last few years the DOLLAR Profit (% don’t pay the bills) has also eaten into business bottom lines. Shall I go on…..Pollies get on with running the country properly and make enough funds available so the Health professionals can do their jobs properly !!

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