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: 27 July 2016

Latest News

Release of the Review’s Discussion Paper

The Chair of the Review Panel, Professor Stephen King, is pleased to announce the release of the Review’s Discussion Paper. Public submissions to the Review in response to the Discussion Paper are now invited. Read more.

Online Questionnaire (Coming Soon!)

A short online questionnaire will shortly be available for pharmacists and members of the general public to respond to a selection of core issues raised in the Discussion Paper. Read more.

National Consultation Process – Register for Public Forums

Public forums seeking input to the Review will be held in metropolitan and regional centres across Australia from 1 August 2016. You may now register your interest in attending a forum. Read more.

About the Review
Review Panel Members
Messages from the Chair
Discussion Paper
Online Questionnaire
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 – 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)

Terms of Reference

View the Terms of Reference

Discussion Paper

Discussion Paper (PDF 2807 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.

Your thoughts and perspectives on the Discussion Paper can be provided through the public submission process. Formal submissions may be lodged via email to the Review Secretariat, or forwarded to:

Pharmacy Review (MDP 900)
Department of Health
GPO Box 9848
Canberra ACT 2601

Written submissions in response to the Discussion Paper may be made until 23 September 2016. All comments and submissions received by the closing date will be reviewed and considered by the Panel.

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 will be treated as public and published on the Review website following the closing date for submissions (23 September 2016). Authors of submissions who would like part of their submission to remain in confidence should provide justification for this at the time of submission. Should the Panel not agree with an author’s request for confidentiality, the author will be given the option to withdraw their submission without public disclosure.

Online Questionnaire (Coming Soon!)

A short online survey will also be available for pharmacists and members of the general public to respond to a selection of core issues raised in the Discussion Paper. We invite you to complete this questionnaire in lieu of or in addition to providing a formal written submission.

The questionnaire will be available via this web page and will be open until 18 September 2016. Please check back here shortly for the link to the questionnaire.


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 (to be released shortly), and the Interim Report (to be released in late 2016).

To support submissions to the Review, a round of public forums will be held in metropolitan and regional centres across Australia from 1 August to 7 September 2016. Forums will run from 7 – 9pm in the following locations:

1 AugustPerthFraser Suites, Adelaide Terrace
2 AugustAdelaideAdelaide Convention Centre
4 AugustBroken HillThe Musicians Club
9 AugustMelbourneNovotel on Collins
10 AugustHobartRydges Hobart
11 AugustLauncestonThe Sebel Launceston
15 AugustCanberra Hellenic Club, Woden
16 AugustWagga WaggaWagga RSL
17 AugustAlbury-WodongaAlbury Tigers Club
22 AugustCairnsHoliday Inn Cairns Harbourside
23 AugustBrisbaneBrisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
25 AugustSydneyThe Menzies Sydney
29 AugustBroomeMercure Broome
30 AugustDarwinMantra Pandanus
1 September Alice SpringsQuest Alice Springs
7 SeptemberLive National WebcastOnline (broadcast from Canberra)
These public consultations will culminate with a national interactive live webcast, to be broadcast from Canberra in the evening of 7 September 2016.

To register your interest in attending one or more of the forums, including the national webcast, please email the Review Secretariat with the location of the forum you wish to attend; the number of participants attending; and their affiliation (eg. pharmacist or consumer).

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.

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 will also be available as 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 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 (Late 2016)

The fourth stage of consultation will commence following the release of the Interim Report in late 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 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.