Who should have a seat at the 7CPA table?


We review the results of our poll, which received over 800 votes

Over the past three weeks, AJP ran a poll asking readers which organisations they think should be able to join the Pharmacy Guild at the negotiating table.

The question was purely speculative, of course, since the Health Minister highlighted that due to the 7CPA legislative framework, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia is currently the only pharmacy signatory on remunerative matters.

However he also confirmed that PSA will for the first time be a co-signatory to the agreement, and will play a “critical part to the design” of services and practice delivery.

People could vote for more than one option in our poll which asked: “Who should have a seat at the table, alongside the Pharmacy Guild, for 7CPA negotiations?”

Out of a total 825 voters, the top choice was PSA, with 548 (67%) voting for them.

In second place was the SHPA, with 309 people (38%) voting for them.

Ramsay Health Care came dead last with just 3% of voters believing they should have a seat at the table.

The final results were as follows:

  1. Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) – 548 votes (67%)
  2. Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) – 309 votes (38%)
  3. Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy (AACP) – 244 votes (30%)
  4. Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA) – 230 votes (28%)
  5. Consumers Health Forum (CHF) – 178 votes (22%)
  6. Small Pharmacies Group (SPG) – 175 votes (21%)
  7. Medicines Australia (MA) – 103 votes (13%)
  8. Chemist Warehouse (CWH) – 84 votes (10%)
  9. National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) – 81 votes (10%)
  10. Other – 70 votes (8%)
  11. Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) – 57 votes (7%)
  12. Consumer Healthcare Products Australia (formerly ASMI) – 53 votes (6%)
  13. Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association (AFSPA) – 49 votes (6%)
  14. Other banner groups – 29 votes (4%)
  15. Ramsay Health Care (RHC) – 26 votes (3%)

“This is welcome validation of Minister Hunt’s announcement of PSA being a co-signatory to the community pharmacy agreement,” said national president Dr Chris Freeman on the result.

“It makes perfect sense for the peak body for pharmacists to be a signatory to the agreement.

“For a long time the profession has called for others to be at the table, and the review of pharmacy remuneration and regulation importantly recommended PSA have a seat at the negotiating table.

“We look forward to being involved in the agreement, particularly the quality standards for pharmacist practice and the decision-making about which health services are included within the agreement as well as the design, delivery and implementation of pharmacy health services,” Dr Freeman told AJP.

“We look forward to working with the Guild and the Department to ensure that the 7CPA builds upon the vital network of community pharmacy and allows pharmacists within community pharmacy to deliver health services that address the challenges of medicines adherence, health literacy and medicines safety.”

The poll results. Source: AJP.

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels said members will not be surprised to see SHPA polling strongly.

“Hospital pharmacists see some of the most acutely unwell Australians – these people are important and their care is important,” said Ms Michaels.

“As an organisation, SHPA is committed to ensuring medicines provided in hospitals are supported by the pharmacy services necessary for medication safety and high quality care.

“In particular, we see evidence related to transitions of care that shows great opportunity for improving the provision of information for patients receiving PBS medicines after a hospital stay. This reflects the crucial role of PBS medicines in supporting healthy Australian communities.

“Although 7CPA negotiations have been mapped out, we are pleased to have entered a period of much closer cooperation with PSA, through last weekend’s signing of an MoU, which we believe will support stronger representation of our pivotal sector,” she said.

“Medicines safety is intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of the community and national policy must support the pharmacy workforce to achieve this for all Australians.”

However some readers were not happy with the poll idea or with some of the choices on the list.

“Please take this ‘poll’ down.. no good can come of it and it will only fuel the fire, and give credence to the unfounded ‘fake truth’ that CPAs are a free for all…” wrote Tim Hewitt.

“Please take down Chemist Warehouse from the list. Do you want more monopolies or what?” wrote Abraham.

“Really it doesn’t matter who is at the table – nothing will change,” wrote Greg Kyle. “The agreement is a way for the government to screw down their pharmaceuticals budget by holding the Guild’s ‘holy grail’ of pharmacist ownership dangling over the guild like the sword of Damacles.”

“The problem with 7CPA is that, even with a new player, it is likely to produce more of the same,” said Kevin Hayward.

One reader M M added: “This poll should have included the Guild rather than having the Guild as a given, to see if people would still vote for them.”

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