The Pharmacy Guild of Australia yesterday gave evidence to the Senate Economics Legislation committee inquiry into the National Health Amendment Bill, and said it wants a “timely” passage of the Bill through the Senate.

The National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill must pass through both chambers within the remaining sitting period before the winter recess, the Guild said.

According to the statement, it is a tight timetable in a busy parliamentary program but the Guild re-affirmed that it supports the Bill on the basis that it will deliver certainty and stability to the community pharmacy sector.

“The Bill gives effect to the PBS Access and Sustainability Package, which was formally announced by the Minister for Health on 27 May 2015.

“The Package establishes pharmacy funding, medicines pricing arrangements and a range of sector measures to ensure ongoing access to innovative and generic medicines through a sustainable PBS. It contains measures negotiated following consultations with a wide range of stakeholders from pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and consumer groups. It also extends the Location Rules from 1 July to mid-2020, which underpin the equitable distribution of pharmacies across the continent, and which enjoy bi-partisan support.

“The Government has mandated that implementation of the 6CPA from 1 July 2015 is contingent upon the passage of the National Health Amendment. The 6CPA underpins the remuneration pharmacies receive for dispensing PBS medicines, as well as the delivery of professional pharmacy programs with significant patient benefit.
The passage of the Bill is urgently required to provide stability and certainty across the community pharmacy sector.”

The passage of the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill by 30 June is vital to achieve certainty for Australia’s  local community pharmacies, their patients, and their 60,000 staff.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia yesterday gave evidence to the Senate Economics Legislation committee inquiry into the National Health Amendment Bill, and now looks forward to the timely passage of the Bill through the Senate.

“The National Health Amendment Bill needs to pass through both chambers within the remaining sitting period before the winter recess.

“This is a tight timetable in a busy parliamentary program and the Guild reaffirms that it supports the Bill on the basis that it is required to deliver certainty and stability to the community pharmacy sector.

“The Bill gives effect to the PBS Access and Sustainability Package, which was formally announced by the Minister for Health on 27 May 2015.”

The Guild says that pharmacy funding, medicines pricing arrangements and a range of sector measures to ensure ongoing access to innovative and generic medicines through a sustainable PBS. It contains measures negotiated following consultations with a wide range of stakeholders from pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry and consumer groups. It also extends the Location Rules from 1 July to mid-2020, which underpin the equitable distribution of pharmacies across the continent, and which enjoy bi-partisan support.

“The government has mandated that implementation of the (6CPA) from 1 July 2015 is contingent upon the passage of the National Health Amendment. The 6CPA underpins the remuneration pharmacies receive for dispensing PBS medicines, as well as the delivery of professional pharmacy programs with significant patient benefit.

“The passage of the Bill is urgently required to provide stability and certainty across the community pharmacy sector.”