Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist April 2012 Contents Australian Pharmacist April 2012 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 263
of an Honourable Mention, which went
to Priceline Pharmacy, Kiama (NSW).
After reviewing all of the entries seven
pharmacies were selected as finalists and
visited by the judges.
As a category winner, Cape York Guardian
pharmacy was initially recognised for its
outstanding contribution to the Weipa
community and the whole Cape region.
Judge, Patrick Reid said, 'Australia is a
large country and the Western Cape is
as remote as it gets. In sometimes trying
circumstances, the Cape York team has
looked upon problems as opportunities --
all while contributing so strongly to their
community and its people.'
Pharmacy Guild National President Kos
Sclavos said, 'This result demonstrates
that pharmacies in regional areas can
deliver excellent services that are just
as good as, or in this case even better
than, their metropolitan counterparts.
I find it encouraging that the standard
of entries this year was so high, that
-- for the first time -- judges needed to
recognise a fourth pharmacy with an
Short video presentations of each of the
categories winners can be viewed on the
Pharmacy Guild's Youtube channel
By Peter Waterman
The advent of direct distribution
of medicines has created a system
of double standards which the
Government appeared to condone,
Professor Ian Harper of Deloitte Access
Economics told delegates at APP.
Professor Harper went further, adding
had lost control
of a key element
of National Health
Policy and could no
the timely and
reliable supply of
Professor Harper stressed he was 'not
picking' on Pfizer, but was concerned
that direct distribution meant two
channels of distribution for drugs which
the Government had paid for.
One channel had checks and balances
controlled by the Government but the
other had no such controls.
Under the Community Service
Obligation (CSO), stocks were
government mandated, there was a
agency, there was compulsory reporting
of all instances of non compliance, there
was an independent complaints system
and there was transparency. Direct
distribution had no such requirements.
'The Government has an obligation
to ensure that patients have access to
essential medicines,' Professor Harper said.
'The Government must explain why
it has failed to meet this obligation
and allow a key element of National
Medicines Policy to be compromised.'
Professor Harper said Pfizer's decision to
be the sole distributor of its medicines
in Australia threatened the viability of
the (CSO) agreement under which the
Government subsidises wholesalers in
return for the guaranteed delivery of
any PBS medicine anywhere in Australia
within 24 hours.
'While CSO distributors guarantee
the timely and reliable delivery of
PBS medicines, Pfizer has given no
equivalent undertaking. Health Minister
Plibersek is allowing a double standard
in the distribution of PBS medicines to
'We now have a situation where some
medicines are delivered to Government
standards and others are delivered to a
lower standard set by a manufacturer.
We also have a situation where taxpayers'
dollars are being used to fund timely
distribution of some but not all medicines
on the PBS.'
Professor Harper said if the Government
paid for PBS medicines, it had an
obligation to all Australians to also
regulate when, where and how those
medicines were supplied to pharmacies
'This is fundamental to a coherent
medicines policy,' he said.
'It makes no sense for the Government to
spend $9 billion a year on PBS medicines
but allow a drug company to decide when
and how these medicines are supplied.'
Professor Harper predicted the CSO
would be seriously weakened if
other pharmaceutical manufacturers
adopted exclusive supply arrangements
and removed their medicines
from Government-accredited and
'Companies withdrawing high-volume
medicines from the CSO will raise the cost
of stocking and supplying the remaining
medicines to a point where the viability of
existing wholesale operations is seriously
called into question,' he said.
Professor Harper said the simplest
solution was to require all PBS medicines
to be available through CSO-accredited
'This is the best way to guarantee the
viability of the CSO and guarantee
timely and reliable supply of medicines
to metropolitan, regional and remote
communities,' he said.
'At the very least, CSO standards should
apply to the supply of all PBS medicines,
whether they are distributed exclusively
by the manufacturer or through
Minister Plibersek and Scott McCahon
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