Billion-dollar deal the right prescription for chemists

A multi-billion-dollar boost to pharmacies has been locked in for the next five years following a deal between the federal government and chemists.

The latest community pharmacy agreement was signed off by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the Pharmacy Guild, which will see community chemists receive an extra $3 billion from the federal government.

The agreement, which will come into effect from July, comes after a year-long dispute between the parties over the government’s decision to double the length of prescriptions from 30 to 60 days.

Under the terms of the agreement, pharmacies will receive $22.5 billion to dispense prescriptions, while more than $480 million will be spent to cover the cost of a one-year freeze to the PBS co-payment.

The co-payment was locked in at $31.60 for general patients and $7.70 for concessions in the federal budget.

Pharmacies will also be bolstered with a $2.1 billion payment to allow them to supply 60-day prescriptions to patients without having to increase fees.

Health Minister Mark Butler said the agreement would guarantee cheaper prescriptions for patients.

“The agreements we have struck are a win for patients who will benefit from cheaper medicines and more pharmacy services,” he said.

“This new agreement will support pharmacists to deliver more services and cheaper medicines.”

Pharmacy Guild president Trent Twomey said the agreement would allow for community pharmacies to grow.

“Patients will see cost of living relief via (the agreement), done in a sustainable way that recognises the importance of community pharmacists’ role delivering world-class, affordable primary healthcare,” Mr Twomey said.

“(The agreement) reinforces community pharmacies as Australians’ most accessible primary health destination.”

The agreement between the government and pharmacies is the eighth deal struck between the parties.


Like This