Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation

During negotiations for the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) in 2015 the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia made a commitment to conduct an independent Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation (the Review). A final report will be provided to the Minister for Health by May 2017.

Page last updated: 22 December 2016

Latest News

Public Statement from the Department of Health

Message from the Department of Health – 22 December (PDF 207 KB)
Message from the Department of Health – 22 December (Word 141 KB)

A Message from the Panel

In their final communication for the year, the independent Review Panel conducting the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation have provided an update on the progress of the Review and confirm details of the process for the next phase of the Review moving into the new year.

A Message from the Panel (PDF 116 KB)
A Message from the Panel (Word 28 KB)

Pharmacy Financial Survey – A Clarification from the Review Panel!

In response to concerns amongst some pharmacy owners regarding the intended purpose of the Review’s Pharmacy Financial Survey, the Review Panel has released a message clarifying its purpose in conducting the survey and how the data collected will be used to inform its recommendations:

Pharmacy Financial survey – A Clarification from the Review Panel (PDF 133 KB)
Pharmacy Financial survey – A Clarification from the Review Panel (Word 401 KB)

To assist prospective respondents in their decision to participate in the survey a copy of the survey questions is available for viewing:

Sample Pharmacy Financial Survey Questions (PDF 140 KB)
Sample Pharmacy Financial Survey Questions (Word 85 KB)

Pharmacy owners and pharmacy managers alike may register their interest in participating in the survey which will help build the Review Panel’s recommendations and understanding of the current, and possible future, operating environments for pharmacy in Australia.

Register your interest via the 'Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation – Pharmacy Financial Survey' page.

Subscribe for updates

This page will be updated, and identified stakeholders notified, when further information is available. If you wish to be emailed regarding updates, you can register your interest by clicking on the subscribe button below and entering your name and email address.

About the Review
Terms of Reference
Review Panel Members
Messages from the Chair
Pharmacy Financial Survey
Discussion Paper
Information Brochure
Submissions to the Review
Live National Webcast
For more Information

About the Review

A panel of three independent expert reviewers will undertake the Review and will provide recommendations on future remuneration, regulation including Pharmacy Location Rules, and other arrangements that apply to pharmacy and wholesalers for the dispensing and supply of medicines and other services, including the preparation of infusions or injections for chemotherapy, provided under the PBS. The focus is to ensure consumers have reliable and affordable access to medicines.

Terms of Reference

In making its recommendations, the Review Panel will consider issues raised during its consultation process within the context of its Terms of Reference.

Review Panel Members

On 24 November 2015, the Minister for Health, Sussan Ley announced the three members of the independent Panel for the Review, together with its Terms of Reference. They are Professor Stephen King (Chair), Ms Jo Watson and Mr Bill Scott.

The Review Panel members have extensive pharmacy, economic, policy and consumer representation expertise, ensuring that the process leads to positive outcomes for pharmacists and consumers.

A brief introduction to each of the Review Panel members can be found below.

Messages from the Chair

Message from the Chair - December 2016 (PDF 143 KB) - Message from the Chair - December 2016 (Word 5292 KB)
Message from the Chair - October 2016 (PDF 159 KB) - Message from the Chair - October 2016 (Word 1395 KB)
Message from the Chair - Mid-September 2016 (PDF 474 KB) - Message from the Chair - Mid-September 2016 (Word 4265 KB)
Message from the Chair – September 2016 (PDF 228 KB) - Message from the Chair – September 2016 (Word 3280 KB)
Message from the Chair – August 2016 (PDF 636 KB) - Message from the Chair – August 2016 (Word 383 KB)
Message from the Chair – July 2016 (PDF 130 KB) - Message from the Chair – July 2016 (Word 730 KB)
Message from the Chair – March 2016 (PDF 148 KB) - Message from the Chair – March 2016 (Word 287 KB)

Pharmacy Financial Survey

The Review Panel is committed to making recommendations that are built on a solid foundation of evidence. A comprehensive financial analysis of the community pharmacy sector will be important in ensuring that the Review makes recommendations that appropriately reflect the challenges and opportunities faced by the breadth of Australian pharmacies. To inform this analysis the Panel has commissioned a targeted survey to directly obtain relevant financial data from a broad cross section of Australian community pharmacies.

Pharmacy owners and managers may register their interest now via the 'Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation – Pharmacy Financial Survey' page.

Discussion Paper

PDF version: Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation - Discussion Paper (PDF 2807 KB)
Word version: Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation - Discussion Paper (Word 9655 KB)

The Discussion Paper reflects the Review Panel’s discussions with, and input from, a broad range of stakeholders and representative bodies from pharmacy, wholesaling, hospital and consumer sectors. The aim of the Discussion Paper is to stimulate discussion on both the current arrangements, and the way the community pharmacy sector should look in the future.

All submissions in response to the Discussion Paper will be considered by the Review Panel in preparing its Interim Report (to be released in early 2017)

Submissions received after 23 September 2016 without having been granted a prior extension by the Review Panel cannot be accepted.

Information Brochure

A printable information brochure was made available to encourage responses to the Review. The brochure provided a convenient way to share information and discuss the Review with colleagues, patients, family or friends.
Information Brochure - Have your say (PDF 241 KB)Information Brochure - Have your say (Word 23 KB)

Submissions to the Review

All non-confidential submissions received in response to the Discussion Paper can be viewed on the 'Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation - Submissions to the Review' page.

Confidentiality of Submissions

The Panel intends the Review to be as transparent as possible to encourage public trust in the process being followed by the Review. Therefore, all submissions have been published on the Review website following redaction of personal and confidential information, as necessary, and with the agreement of authors to publish.


The Review Panel is committed to consulting broadly to gain an extensive view of pharmacy in Australia and the factors contributing to patient health outcomes and the quality use of medicines. The views of organisations, as well as the public, will be valuable in the Review Panel’s consideration of these issues.

There will be a range of opportunities offered for interested parties to provide input to the Review, including stakeholder meetings, participation in public forums and relevant industry conferences, and through submissions in response to the Discussion Paper, an online questionnaire, and the Interim Report (to be released in early 2017).

To support submissions to the Review, a round of public forums was held in metropolitan and regional centres across Australia from 1 August to 7 September 2016. Forums were held in the following locations:

City / Town
PerthFraser Suites10 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth, Western Australia, 6004
AdelaideAdelaide Convention CentreNorth Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000
Broken HillThe Musicians Club276 Crystal Street, Broken Hill, New South Wales, 2880
MelbourneNovotel Melbourne on Collins270 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
HobartRydges Hobart393 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000
LauncestonThe Sebel Launceston12 St John Street, Launceston, Tasmania, 7250
CanberraHellenic ClubMatilda Street, Woden, Australian Capital Territory, 2606
Wagga WaggaWagga RSL ClubDobbs St & Kincaid Street, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, 2650
Albury-WodongaAlbury Tigers ClubWodonga Place, Albury, New South Wales, 2640
CairnsHoliday Inn Cairns Harbourside209-217 The Esplanade, Cairns, North Queensland, 4870
BrisbaneBrisbane Convention and Exhibition CentreMerivale St & Glenelg Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101
SydneyThe Menzies Sydney14 Carrington St, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000
BroomeMercure BroomeWield Street, Broome, Western Australia, 6725
DarwinMantra Pandanus43 Knuckey Street, Darwin, Northern Territory, 0800
Alice SpringsQuest Alice Springs9–10 South Terrace, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, 0870
Live National WebcastOnline (broadcast from 50MC Theatre, Canberra)In Person:
50 Marcus Clarke St,

Live National Webcast

Public consultations culminated with a live national webcast, broadcast from Canberra on 7 September 2016.

The webcast provided an opportunity for stakeholders and consumers to join the national conversation and express their views regarding the future of pharmacy to the Review Panel through the Livechat facility and hashtag #pharmacyreview.

Consultation Stages

Stage 1 – Bilateral Meetings (December 2015 – March 2016)

The first stage of consultation for the Review was a series of face-to-face meetings with key industry and consumer stakeholders to inform the development of a Discussion Paper. Stakeholders included a range of organisations across the pharmaceutical supply chain including, but not limited to, consumer, pharmacy, wholesaler and health practitioner groups.

Stage 2 – Release of Discussion Paper (July 2016)

A Discussion Paper was released in July 2016, along with an invitation for written submissions to the Review. An online questionnaire also provided an additional mechanism for responses to core issues raised in the Discussion Paper.

Stage 3 – National Consultation Process (August – September 2016)

From 1 August 2016, a national consultation process was held across capital cities and regional areas of Australia. The consultation process provided a valuable opportunity for organisations and individuals to participate in the discussion of pharmacy issues with the Review Panel.

Stage 4 – Release of Interim Report (Early 2017)

The fourth stage of consultation will commence following the release of the Interim Report in early 2017. This will highlight key issues raised during earlier consultations and will include draft recommendations. The Review Panel will invite written comments in response to the Interim Report.

Stage 5 – Final Report

The Review Panel will provide its Final Report by May 2017.

For more Information

Review enquiries:
Email: Review Secretariat
Media enquiries: News or telephone 0412 132 585.

Review Panel

Professor Stephen King – Industrial Economist and Chair

Professor King is the Chair of the Review Panel.

Professor King is a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission, having commenced in this role from 1 July 2016. Professor King was recently Professor of Economics and former Dean at Monash University. Prior to joining Monash University, Professor King was a Member of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Before that, he was a Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne and a Professor of Management (Economics) at the Melbourne Business School.

Professor King’s main areas of expertise are in competition economics, regulation and industrial organisation. While at the ACCC, he chaired the Mergers Review Committee and was closely involved with a wide range of merger decisions. He was involved in the full range of activities undertaken by the Commission. These included both on-going functions – such as authorisation decisions, regulatory determinations and enforcement actions under the Competition and Consumer Act – and ad hoc activities undertaken by the Commission. For example, Professor King was one of the three Commissioners who undertook the Part VIIA inquiries into the price of unleaded petrol in Australia and into the Australian grocery industry. He was also one of the two Commissioners presiding over the Services Sydney-Sydney Water Access Dispute. This was the first arbitration completed under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act.

From 2003 to 2014, Professor King was a Lay Member of the High Court of New Zealand and in 2007 assisted the Court in the appeal by Woolworths and Foodstuffs against a decision of the New Zealand Commerce Commission. He is also a part-time Member of the Economic Regulation Authority of WA, and of the National Competition Council.

Ms Jo Watson and Mr Bill Scott are the other Panel Members.

Ms Jo Watson – Consumer Representative

Ms Watson has been engaged in the areas of health policy development, access to medicines, and patient engagement with health technology assessments for the past 20 years. She is the Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF), and has been a Director on the CHF Board since 2012.

Ms Watson has been a health consumer advocate and community representative for many years, including her role as the Executive Director of the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) from 1998 to 2014.

Ms Watson has been the consumer nominee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA) from 2002 to 2012, and commenced as the consumer nominee to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in 2013.

Ms Watson represented CHF at the Minister's Roundtable at the beginning of the 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations in 2015, and continued in this role for the ongoing bilateral discussions between CHF and the Department of Health for that period.

Bill Scott – Pharmacy Representative

Mr Scott has been a Committee Member of the Pharmacy Guild’s Victorian Branch since 1986.

Mr Scott is a pharmacist with a quarter share in three pharmacies. Although having a reduced role in the day to day management of these pharmacies, Mr Scott still remains very active in the industry and maintains an up to date clinical knowledge.

Mr Scott has a unique mix of experience as a former Director of Sigma Pharmaceuticals Limited and as Chairman of the Negotiating Committee for the Guild on the 4th and 5th Community Pharmacy Agreements.

Mr Scott is a current Director of Fred IT Pty Ltd and was also a Director of Guildlink until 2014.

Mr Scott is highly respected in pharmacy, by other health professionals and in the wider health sector. Mr Scott has wider business experience through ten years on the Council of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry including one year on the Board.

Mr Scott also has a long history in community organisations. His previous community roles include being Whittlesea Councillor for 5 years, founder of the Whittlesea Community Health Centre, Board Member and Chairman of Bundoora Aged Care Centre, Chairman of Promote Whittlesea, Chairman of the Whittlesea Severance Association, Chairman of Mill Park Traders Association, Board Member of the Victorian Swimming Association Trading Company and representative on many school organisations.