Week in review

The Federal Budget dropped on Tuesday night provided some excitement in the midst of post-APP blues…

The 2018-19 Federal Budget, delivered by Treasurer Scott Morrison, was headlined for pharmacy by a major change in the way the Government pays for high-cost PBS medicines, with a gradual reduction to most rebates previously paid to the Government by manufacturers.

The new arrangements were welcomed by the Pharmacy Guild.

Tax cuts for small businesses were announced, as was Budget support for general practice pharmacists in the form of financial incentives for general practices to employ allied health professionals, including non-dispensing pharmacists.

Meanwhile funding was reduced for NPS MedicineWise and the RUM Project, although both bodies responded positively in welcoming the longer term funding commitment.

PSA announced the launch of tailored workforce training, with Chemist Warehouse Group to be the first national pharmacy group to implement the training.

Pharmacy Guild President George Tambassis called on Health Minister Greg Hunt to work out a fix to the exclusive supply issue, with Minister Hunt saying he may have found a temporary solution.

The Grattan Institute’s Stephen Duckett blasted the government’s response to the Pharmacy “King” Review, writing in the Australian Financial Review that consumers “will be the losers” from the response to the Review.

“Pharmacy owners, represented by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, are the winners: consumers and taxpayers are the losers,” he wrote.

Arrow and Apotex announced a proposed merger of their Australian and New Zealand generic pharmaceutical and OTC operations.

And two of our excellent contributors wrote an educational piece on how to help patients on best use of medicines during Ramadan.

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