Budget announcement to provide pharmacy owners with ongoing confidence.
Federal treasurer Scott Morrison has unveiled the 2017-18 budget, with the announcement also including confirmation that the government will “ensure the ongoing legislative basis for Pharmacy Location Rules”.
The move will give pharmacy owners “ongoing confidence that approval to supply pharmaceuitical benefits at particular premises will continue to be regulated,” according to a statement from the Health Department.
The budget papers also confirm that the $600 million already allocated in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement will be provided to continue and expand existing community pharmacy programs, as well as a further $225 million over three years to the community pharmacy sector and wholesalers as a result of lower script volumes. This funding also recognises of the impact of a package of further medicine price reduction policies being implemented as part of the budget.
The Pharmacy Guild has agreed not to pursue any further funding for lower than expected prescription volumes over the remaining life of the 6CPA.
The statement confirms the Guild will also “continue to work with the government to support an increased uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines in community pharmacies, including through the use of computer software platforms to promote their use”.
The Department said the measures would support the viability of pharmacies and the pharmaceutical supply chain, including in rural areas, “enabling them to continue to deliver services to patients and ensure all Australians have affordable and timely access to medicines”.
More details from tonight’s budget in tomorrow’s issue of Pharmacy Daily.