More essential support for Australian patients through community pharmacy

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Australians will have better access to subsidised medicines and medication management services through community pharmacy with the Morrison Government finalising a Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA).

Under this landmark agreement, our Government will continue to partner with community pharmacy to ensure Australians have access to more than 200 million subsidised Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) prescriptions each year through their community pharmacy of choice.

Member for Reid, Dr Fiona Martin MP, said the 7CPA demonstrated the Morrison Government’s ongoing support for patients and community pharmacy.

Member for Reid, Dr Fiona Martin MP, is pleased with the new 7CPA agreement.

“This agreement acknowledges the role Australia’s community pharmacies have played, and continue to play, in our Government’s efforts to improve the health of all Australians,” Dr Martin said.

“Community pharmacies have played a central role in supporting their community during the recent bushfires and have kept their doors open to support patients during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Martin said. “Over the last year, I’ve spoken with many of our community pharmacists and they’ve told me just how important this agreement is to support the continuity of their services.”

Medicine safety will be a key focus of the 7CPA with the Government increasing its investment in medication management services and programs to $1.2 billion over five years, which is an additional $100 million investment compared to actual expenditure in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.

The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said elderly Australians, people with chronic conditions and Australians on concession cards would benefit from this increased investment through simplified and improved Community Pharmacy medication management and adherence programs, such as dose administration aids and medicine checks.

“There will also be greater support for regional, rural and remote pharmacies to deliver community pharmacy services with reforms to the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance to adopt the Modified Monash Model for rural classification,” Minister Hunt said.

“Our Government will also implement reforms to improve access to medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by expanding the number of people eligible for the Closing the Gap PBS Co-payment measure.”

This program provides free or lower cost medicines to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have, or are at risk of, chronic disease.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said people across the Australian community will benefit from the 7CPA.

There will be greater transparency for consumers on the cost of their medicines, and the Government will reduce the level of discretionary fees that can to be charged on medicines priced below the general patient co-payment.

Consumers will continue to have access to cheaper medicines through the continuation of the optional $1 discount on the patient co-payment.

The Government will also work to support the adoption of a nationally consistent approach to vaccinations available through community pharmacies.  

The 7CPA signed by the Commonwealth, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and for the first time, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, will commence on 1 July 2020, and be in place until 30 June 2025.

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