New model for distribution of high cost medicines – and no medication vending machines.
The APP2018 Conference on the Gold Coast is off and running, with an opening plenary address by Health Minister Greg Hunt who released details of the government’s much-anticipated response to the controversial Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation.
He noted that his overall approach has been to recognise that pharmacy in Australia makes an immense contribution to community health. “We’re about increasing the sustainability of pharmacies, and not putting in place new threats or challenges,” he told APP delegates.
Key recommendations accepted include alternative payment arrangements for the supply of high-cost PBS medicines from community pharmacy, to support their continued availability within the community. Hunt said he recognises high-cost drugs present cash flow and stock management challenges, confirming the government has been working with the pharmaceutical supply chain to identify administrative approaches to address concerns. The formal response notes that possible changes would be implemented “from mid-2019 onwards”.
The minister noted that several recommendations would not be adopted, in particular one relating to dispensing of medicines via ATM-style robots, while the government also has no intention of introducing a tender system for generic medications.
Hunt noted that a final decision had not been made about the $1 PBS prescription issue.
During his address the Minister also announced a new Pharmacy Trial program, a $3 million project to be undertaken with 500 aged care residents in South Australia at risk of deterioration from prolonged use of medicines. He said the Chronic Pain Medscheck trial was also likely to be finalised in the coming weeks.
The full response to the King Review is now online at health.gov.au.
More from APP in tomorrow’s issue of Pharmacy Daily.