Backdown on dispensing puts profits ahead of patients: RACGP

Matt Woodley

29/03/2019 4:50:23 PM

The RACGP has criticised the Pharmacy Guild for reportedly forcing the Government to back away from plans for 60-day dispenses.

Australian money.
The RACGP President has accused the Pharmacy Guild of putting profits before patients.

RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said the government’s decision to scrap a proposed change allowing patients to collect two months of scripts was a ‘loss for patient safety’ and a ‘backdown’ by Government.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt had backed away from an expected budget measure doubling the dispensing limit for 143 common medications, following Pharmacy Guild lobbying.
Dr Nespolon said the public needs to be aware that the Guild prioritises pharmacy profits over patient benefits.
‘This issue is particularly concerning for me at the moment, as a GP going into flu season,’ he said.
‘When you see a pharmacist trying to administer flu vaccinations too early, you do have to wonder why patient safety is not the first priority.’
According to Dr Nespolon, the Pharmacy Guild’s latest move eliminates the potential to reduce patients’ out of pocket costs, improve access, and improve medication compliance.
‘The Guild’s successful lobbying means a patient in a rural area taking a basic medication responsibility will now be required to travel into their nearest town more frequently to fill a simple script. Most patients just do not have time for this,’ Dr Nespolon said.
‘Any patient who is not in the position to manage a 60-day dispense instead of 30-days would have been able to be easily managed by their treating professional. Removing the benefits from other patients is simply short sighted.’
Dr Nespolon added it is impossible to confuse what has happened behind the scenes of the Guild’s lobbying.
‘The Pharmacy Guild’s own email to its members noted its concern on how 60-day dispenses would affect pharmacy profits,’ he said.
‘What I want to see from the Pharmacy Guild is a refocus on what can bring benefits to both the patient and the pharmacist. Unfortunately this has not been the case in this decision.
The email from Guild president George Tambassis states that he believed the Guild had succeeded in ‘dissuading the government from proceeding with this destructive, unwarranted idea.’
The initial proposal would have slashed pharmacist dispensing fees, which can often be the majority of the cost of filling a PBS-listed prescription.

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Sasi   2/04/2019 7:09:33 PM

It shows how clever pharmacy guild is and our weakness (RACGP).no point in sending media release .its happening again and again

Dr Evan Wayne Ackermann   7/04/2019 8:18:08 AM

The issue of concern is that not ONE political party wanted to stand up for patientrs over the Pharmacy Guild.