Improving Access to Medicines – support for community pharmacies

The Government will provide $825 million over three years from 2017–18 to community pharmacies to support and improve Australians’ access to medicines.

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

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This includes $600 million already provided for by the Government to continue and expand existing community pharmacy programs, which deliver medication management services and are designed to improve patient care and outcomes.

The Government will provide $225 million over three years to community pharmacists and pharmaceutical wholesalers as a result of prescription volumes being lower than forecast in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) and in recognition of the impact of the package of price reduction policies outlined in the 2017–18 Budget measure titled Improving Access to Medicines – cheaper medicines.

The Government will also ensure the ongoing legislative basis for Pharmacy Location Rules. This will provide pharmacy owners with ongoing confidence that approval to supply pharmaceutical benefits at particular premises will continue to be regulated.

Why is this important?

The Government is committed to meeting its obligations under the 6CPA. The Pharmacy Guild has agreed to not pursue any further funding for lower than expected prescription volumes over the remaining life of the 6CPA.

The Guild will continue to work with the Government to support an increased uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines in community pharmacies, including through the use of computer software platforms to promote their use.

Who will benefit?

The measure will support the viability of pharmacies and the pharmaceutical supply chain, including in rural areas, enabling them to continue to deliver services to patients and ensure all Australians have affordable and timely access to medicines.

The overall costs of medicines for consumers continue to come down.

How much will this cost?

This measure will cost $825 million from 2017–18 to 2019–20.

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