Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Pharmacy review members
Victorian pharmacist Bill Scott has been appointed to the Expert Panel for
the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation.
Mr Scott is a highly respected senior
figure in community pharmacy.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley
announced the membership of the
Panel at the Pharmacy Guild dinner
at Parliament House Canberra
The Review will look at a range of
factors that contribute to patient
health outcomes and the quality use
The Pharmacy Guild welcomed
Mr Scott’s appointment and said it
would work constructively with the
Panel on the basis that it would take an
objective and evidence-based approach.
Ms Ley said: ‘[The Review] will consider
payments made to community
pharmacy for dispensing Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines;
the regulation of pharmacy, including
Pharmacy Location Rules and how they
support access to medicines on the PBS
and supply chain arrangements.
‘ This Review upholds a clear
commitment I made during negotiations
of the Sixth Community Pharmacy
Agreement, to ensure dollars invested
in pharmacy reflects value for money
and that the sector is working efficiently,
effectively and remains viable to meet
the needs of consumers.’
Minister Ley said the three members
of the Expert Panel had extensive
pharmacy, economic and policy
expertise, which would ensure the
process lead to positive outcomes for
pharmacists and consumers.
‘ This will be an open and transparent
process, seeking views from both the
public and the industry,’ she said.
The report estimates that innovative
medicines saved Australian taxpayers
almost $7 billion in hospital costs for
people up to 80 years of age in 2011
– more than the cost of reimbursing
these medicines through the PBS.
‘Premature mortality for all diseases fell
by 24% in Australia between 1998 and
2011 and around 60% of this can be
attributed to innovative medicines,’
Professor Lichtenberg said.
‘ This research estimates that innovative
medicines saved over 140,000 years
of life before the age of 75 in Australia
According to the report, innovative
medicines which were first listed on
the PBS between 1989 and 2002 cost
$5.8 billion in 2011. This period is used
because once an innovative medicine is
listed on the PBS it takes nine years for
it to reach peak usage.
‘ Without these medicines, the cost
of hospitalisation in 2011 would
have been 13% or $6.8 billion higher,’
Professor Lichtenberg said.
‘ This modelling identifies that listing
innovative medicines on the PBS has
effectively delivered an overall saving in
The report has also estimated how
medicines listed on the PBS affected
cancer survival. The five year survival rate
for all cancers in Australia increased from
49% to 62% between 1986 and 2007.
An estimated 40% of this improvement
is the result of new medicines listed
on the PBS. In the absence of new
medicines, the five-year survival rate
would have been 57% in 2007.
The other member of the Panel are a
Professor of Economics and former
Dean at Monash University (Chair),
Professor Stephen King, and Deputy
Chair of the CHF Board and consumer
representative on the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Advisory Committee, Jo Watson.
However, the Guild was cautious about
Professor King and Ms Watson, noting
that: ‘The CHF, of which Ms Watson
is Deputy Chair, has well known
and frequently espoused views on
community pharmacy regulation,
the Location Rules and remuneration
‘Professor King recently stated in an
Australian Financial Review article
he jointly authored that pharmacy
ownership restrictions and the Location
Rules are anti-competitive and should
‘ The Guild trusts that neither Professor
King nor Ms Watson come to this Review
with pre-determined positions and
that all issues will be considered on
New medicines pay for
Investing in new medicines pays for
itself by reducing other public health
expenditure, a report conducted by
American economist Professor Frank
Lichtenberg has found.
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