PSA welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that early negotiations for the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) will begin as soon as possible, whilst highlighting the need to secure the short-term viability of the community pharmacy sector.
Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler MP has said the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia will continue to be signatories to any new agreement, with negotiation is set to conclude by the end of the 2023-24 financial year.
PSA National President Dr Fei Sim FPS said that negotiations for 8CPA must harness community pharmacists as the solution to Australia’s primary care crisis – but emphasised immediate and long-term viability risks could make this difficult to achieve.
“PSA looks forward to working with the government and the Pharmacy Guild to drive better and safer access to medicines for Australians,” Dr Sim said.
“We need to do more to reduce the preventable harm medicines are causing in Australia. Up to half of the 250,000 hospital admissions per year in Australia due to medicine-related problems are preventable.
“More Australians are finding it more difficult to access their essential medicines due to waiting times to access their regular prescribers. These are real problems PSA will seek solutions for during the 8CPA negotiations.
“The new agreement should enable pharmacists to practice to full scope. This agreement should deliver better access to care for all Australians by cementing the core role of pharmacists as the stewards for safe and effective use of medicines.”
“As the peak body representing pharmacists in Australia, and as steward of professional standards, PSA is committed to working constructively and collaboratively during this process of negotiation to deliver the outcome which includes better ways for pharmacists to show the impact of the care they provide.
“PSA has championed embedding of quality and safety measures in pharmacy programs for many years, and will seek to drive evaluation measures in CPA programs to help demonstrate the role pharmacists play every day in supporting safer and more effective use of medicines.
“While there is up to 11 months before negotiations are proposed to conclude, the real impact of 60-day dispensing will be felt immediately by community pharmacists as the measure commences on 1 September. We must ensure close alignment between the commencement of 60-day dispensing and the commencement of a new community pharmacy agreement.
“Pharmacists need certainty now that the care they provide will remain viable in the short term.
“As a profession, pharmacists can do more and want to do more, but we cannot keep doing more with less.”
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The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia is the only national peak body that represents all of Australia’s 36,000 pharmacists across all practice settings. We want every Australian to have access to the best healthcare, and this must include optimising access to pharmacists’ knowledge and medicines expertise at the forefront of our healthcare system.