A Fairfax article detailing the Pharmacy Guild’s efforts to solve the risk share funding dispute with the Turnbull Government has had stakeholders talking on the weekend.
“The country’s powerful pharmacy lobby is threatening a damning public campaign against the Turnbull government if it doesn’t settle a bitter funding dispute in its favour,” wrote National Political Correspondent for The Sun-Herald and The Sunday Age Adam Gartrell in a piece titled, “Malcolm Turnbull in new funding fight with the powerful Pharmacy Guild.”
“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has embarked on a lobbying blitz of Coalition backbench MPs to pressure Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Health Minister Sussan Ley into changing course.”
Outspoken pharmacy critic Dr Evan Ackermann expressed concern on social media:
Surely government will not bow to another big-business? https://t.co/qM7qt1FYa7
— Evan Ackermann (@EvanAckermann) December 10, 2016
But pharmacists were quick to point out that pharmacies are not big businesses…
Agree most pharmacy is small business hence even more vulnerable.
— Dr Helen Schultz (@drHelenschultz) December 11, 2016
Pharmacies can only be owned by pharmacists and are by and large small businesses. Its not "bowing" down when govt merely upholds agreement https://t.co/rBT2cwAB4M
— Anthony Tassone (@A_Tass1) December 10, 2016
…and that by reimbursing pharmacies for the funds resulting from the 6.5 million shortfall in prescription volumes over 2015-16, the Government would merely be upholding its end of the bargain.
I imagine when you sign an bipartisan agreement, you expect the other party to honour it, Yes?
— Chris Owen (@cpowen_) December 11, 2016
In his 30 November message in Forefront, executive director David Quilty wrote that the Guild was continuing to fight for reimbursement.
“Like all risk share arrangements, the risk share in the [Community Pharmacy] Agreement cuts both ways,” he wrote.