RACGP backs financial boost for pharmacies

Effective 1 July, community pharmacies will receive a significant financial boost from the Government, as announced by The Hon Mark Butler MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The financial boost includes:

  • All community pharmacies will be paid more for dispensing PBS medicines, giving the average metropolitan pharmacy more than $41,000 extra per year.
  • Government payments to community pharmacies will increase by 7% from July 1, meaning significant increases in payments for services like dispensing, handling, administration and infrastructure.
  • Regional, rural and remote pharmacies will benefit from the doubling of the total annual budget for the Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA), which also takes effect from 1 July.

The Government has also announced that from 1 July, new rules will take effect regarding pharmacy medicine stocks.

The new rules will mean manufacturers of more than 2900 brands of common medicine will be required to hold a minimum of four or six months’ worth of stock onshore in Australia, thereby assuring pharmacy medicine stocks.

RACGP welcomes financial boost 

The Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) has welcomed this significant financial boost for community pharmacies across Australia.

“Australia needs a strong and sustainable primary care system with GPs working together with pharmacists, allied health and nurse practitioners to provide the best care for patients,” says RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins.

“Community pharmacies play an important role in dispensing medication. They also provide various associated services, such as opioid dependence treatment, medication reviews, and Indigenous health, which are government subsidised.

“The significant financial boost to pharmacies from July 1 is welcome, particularly for those in our rural communities.

“The regional pharmacy maintenance allowance has doubled, so pharmacies in the most remote areas are now eligible for more than $90,000 a year to keep their doors open.

“Rural and remote communities typically have limited access to health services, sometimes there’s just one GP practice and pharmacy, and the local community relies on them heavily.

“The rural primary care community is also tight-knit, we support each other, and I know there will be many rural GPs who’ll be happy to hear about this additional support for their local pharmacists.”