Pharmacists meet with Federal MPs in Bridgewater

Brian Mitchell MP, federal member for Lyons and Julie Collins MP, federal member for Franklin welcomed pharmacists from across Tasmania to a discussion in Bridgewater regarding the Australian Governments cheaper medicines policy.

The policy would enable doctors to give patients a 60-day supply of medication, rather than the usual 30 days.

This would reduce fees and charges that patients would usually need to pay monthly to the pharmacies, but the Pharmacy Guild and regional pharmacists are concerned in a drop in income that could affect their business.

“Pharmacists have shared with me their concerns about potential impacts on their businesses, which I will forward to the Minister. It is important their questions are answered and that support is made available where necessary.” Mr Mitchell said.

“It’s important that we take the concerns seriously, and that people’s concerns are treated respectfully.

“A key issue that’s put to me is the dispensing fees ar being used to informally cross-subsidise other services, like over the counter advice. Pharmacists say if the fees go down they have no way to meet the costs of those other services.

"I’m proposing to the Minister that we introduce a schedule that addresses these issues.

“We will continue to work with the community pharmacy sector, and I will ensure any unanticipated consequences are dealt with swiftly so we can ensure the ongoing health and strength of our vital rural and regional community pharmacies.”