The Pharmacy Guild and the Albanese Government have agreed to immediately enter negotiations to secure an 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement.
Both parties have committed to secure a new agreement that will commence on 1 March 2024.
Pharmacy Guild President Trent Twomey said all pharmacists wanted cheaper medicine for their patients and that could be achieved without negatively impacting community pharmacies.
“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia remains committed to working with the Albanese Government to deliver cheaper medicines in a way that does not adversely impact the viability of community pharmacies, or patients’ access to community pharmacy services.
“We thank the Prime Minister and the Health Minister for hearing our concerns and 60-day dispensing, along with other reforms, will now be dealt with in the normal way under a Community Pharmacy Agreement.
“We also thank the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the Nationals, the Shadow Health Minister and all Liberal and Nationals MPs and senators, crossbench MPs and senators and thousands of community pharmacists and their patients for making their voices heard on the unintended consequences of this policy.
“Pharmacists are ready, willing and able to step up and provide more care and services to patients, at a time when the health system is under significant strain, and we look forward to those opportunities within the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement.
“We must ensure the core clinical service of community pharmacies, the dispensing of prescription medicines, is remunerated appropriately to help ensure these opportunities for a greater role of community pharmacists in the delivery of patient care are realised.”
To facilitate the commencement of good faith negotiations, the Pharmacy Guild has offered to suspend its public information campaign and that has been accepted by the Health Minister and the Prime Minister.
The Pharmacy Guild will continue to work with pharmacies that are most impacted by 60-day dispensing to ensure their viability remains intact while negotiations start with the Government, ahead of 1 March 2024.
Text by: Pharmacy Guild.