The Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation is due to release its initial discussion paper this month
Community pharmacy is still waiting for the release of the Review of Pharmacy remuneration and regulation’s discussion paper, but what kind of an impact will it have?
Initially slated for release in early April, the report has not yet emerged and industry sources say April/May is now being presented as the release window.
Review panel chief Professor Stephen King presented to APP 2016 in March a number of controversial views, including that community pharmacies should be considered as retail outlets.
As pharmacies sell retail goods in a retail setting, “you are retailers, so why shouldn’t we consider you as retailers and compare you to other retailers?”, he said.
In addition, he raised the possibility of splitting the advice function of pharmacy from the dispense function.
This would leave community pharmacies to merely dispense medicines, along with other relevant retail front of shop products, while medicines advice was provided by pharmacists co-located in GP clinics.
However, the panel seemed to be generally supportive of existing location rules, which Professor King said had “reasonably rationalised the ratio of pharmacies to population”.
The panel consists of Bill Scott, former president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria) and two members who have previously gone public with criticisms of community pharmacy regulations – Professor King, a health economist, and Jo Watson, deputy CEO of the Consumers Health Forum.
The panel will undertake a national consultation process from June, leading to the publication of an interim report in the second half of 2016, and its final report being delivered to the government in March 2017.
How confident are you that the review of remuneration and regulation will benefit pharmacy?