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 March 2017.

Page last updated: 11 May 2016

Statement from the Panel for the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation

On 9 May 2016, the Australian Government went into ‘caretaker’ mode.

After consultation by the Secretariat with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the advice received by the Panel is that even independent Government advisory panels are obliged to observe the Caretaker Conventions. These Conventions require that the Panel does not facilitate discussions of policy matters during the caretaker period. For this reason, the release of the Panel’s discussion paper, and further consultation meetings will be deferred until the end of the caretaker period.

Other work required to conduct the Review according to its terms of reference, such as research and modelling, will continue during the caretaker period, and further public consultation will occur after the caretaker period has finished.

Stephen King

Panel Chair

About the Review
Review Panel Members
Messages from the Chair
Terms of Reference
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.

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 – March 2016 (PDF 148 KB) - Message from the Chair – March 2016 (Word 287 KB)

Terms of Reference

View the Terms of Reference


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 (to be released in April 2016), as well as the Interim Report (to be released in the second half of 2016).

If you are interested in contributing to this Review process, please email the Review Secretariat for further information.

This page will be updated, and identified stakeholders notified, when further information is available. If you have not already noted your interest to the Department and 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.

Consultation Stages

Stage 1 – Bilateral Meetings (Commenced)

The first stage of consultation for the Review is a series of face-to-face meetings with key industry and consumer stakeholders to inform the development of the Discussion Paper. Stakeholders include 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 (timing to be advised)

A Discussion Paper will be released (timing to be advised), along with an invitation for any interested parties to submit written comments in response to the Paper.

Stage 3 – National Consultation Process

Following release of the Discussion Paper, a national consultation process will commence across capital cities and regional areas of Australia. The consultation process will provide an opportunity for organisations and individuals to participate in the discussion of pharmacy issues with the Review Panel.

Stage 4 – Release of Interim Report

The fourth stage of consultation will commence following the release of the Interim Report in the second half of 2016. 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 March 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 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.