Improving Access to Medicines – maintaining Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services pharmaceutical dispensing

This measure ensures that eligible pharmacists are appropriately remunerated for supplying Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines to patients of Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services (RAAHS).

Page last updated: 09 May 2017

PDF version: Improving Access to Medicines – maintaining Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services pharmaceutical dispensing (PDF 103 KB)

Why is this important?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, particularly people with chronic and complex conditions, will continue to receive the medicines they need at an affordable price.

PBS-subsidised medicines supplied by pharmacists to patients of RAAHS are not reimbursed as standard PBS medicines. Pharmacists claim a bulk handling fee, which is significantly lower than the usual PBS fee for dispensing individual medicines.

This new measure ensures appropriate reimbursement to eligible pharmacists, and will be paid for through a small reduction in the standard PBS dispensing fee paid by the Government to all community pharmacies around Australia.

The new arrangement will mean that the nation’s 5,500 community pharmacies will fund the reimbursement, receiving a slightly lower dispensing fee per item than they would have expected to be paid, because the fee normally rises with indexation each year. This solution was proposed by the Pharmacy Guild.

Who will benefit?

Patients of Remote Area Aboriginal Health Services and eligible pharmacists will benefit from this measure.

How much will this cost?

This measure will cost $0.4 million from 2016–17 to 2020–21.

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