Big week, big changes for pharmacy
On Wednesday, the Pharmacy Guild hinted that we might soon get a look at the interim report of the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation… and they were right. On Thursday afternoon, it was released. Reaction to the interim report has generally welcomed some options put forth, but rejected others: the Guild says some measures could undermine community pharmacy as we know it, while the PSA is concerned about a flat dispensing fee option among other issues. AJP will continue to bring readers information about the interim report as the pharmacy sector responds.
Funding for pharmacy program changes to the tune of $825 million was announced on Wednesday, with remunerated MedsChecks set to double and payments for DAAs streamlined over the next three years.
We took a look at the hotly contested NSW Guild election (voting closed yesterday). PSA has elected a new national president: Tasmanian pharmacist Shane Jackson. Congratulations to Dr Jackson and also to Michelle Lynch and Dr Chris Freeman, re-elected as National Vice-Presidents, and re-elected Early Career Pharmacist Director Taren Gill, and to outgoing president Joe Demarte, for his work in the role supporting the profession.
In other news, PSA has released the Professional Practice Standards (PPS) Version 5 (V5); pharmacist vaccination continued to gather steam, as the ACT became the latest jurisdiction to expand the program beyond flu jabs; and the employee pharmacists’ union says 23% of community pharmacy employers plan not to cut penalty rates in line with the FWC decision.
The role of pharmacists in herbal medicines came under the spotlight; and codeine has also been an issue this week. The Guild warned that without the prescription exception it’s pushing for, pharmacists’ role as medicines experts will be undermined, and one pharmacy manager has warned that crime against pharmacy will increase when codeine goes script-only.