Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist Oct 2013 Contents 6
Australian Pharmacist October 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
The pharmacy profession is at a point in
its history where we need to sit down,
collaborate and devise a plan for how we
would like to practise in the future.
Any plan or proposal for a revised
remuneration system for PBS supply
that involves completely transparent
pricing will happen in the near future
and we better get ready for its severe
When, not if, generic discounting
becomes consigned to the dustbin of
history and pharmacists are paid for PBS
supply solely on the basis of true cost ex
wholesaler/manufacturer + mark-up +
dispensing fee then any activities/services
that were once cross-subsidised by these
forgone discounts will need to be paid for
directly by (a) the patient or their health
fund or (b) the Federal Government.
I cannot imagine pharmacy owners
would continue to offer free services
at a financial loss to themselves and
If the Pharmacy Guild has not done some
economic modelling on the gross margin
that is required to cover fixed operating
costs of pharmacies in various retail
settings then it ought to do so.
These figures need to be published and
discussed openly with the Department
of Health and Ageing. If the Federal
Government does not wish pharmacies to
pay rents above a certain dollar figure per
square metre then it should assist owners
to relocate to lower rental sites.
Pharmacists need to start thinking very
seriously about charging for our time
just as doctors, lawyers, accountants and
other professionals do. In other words,
if the public wants our assistance in
managing their healthcare, either they or
the Government will have to pay.
The next task is to devise a schedule
of fees for various services just like the
schedule of fees the AMA publishes and
distributes to its members - fees that are
well above the Government MBS fees.
The profession should start negotiating
for the inclusion of item numbers and
associated dollar amounts into the MBS
to cover agreed pharmacist-delivered
cognitive and other services. We should
Letters to the Editor
Letters are invited from anyone
wishing to comment on articles
or issues relevant to pharmacy.
However, any letters judged by the
Editor to be potentially defamatory
will not be published. Letters should
be no more than 300 words long.
They can be emailed to the Editor at
multi-disciplinary health-care model
towards which Australia is rapidly moving.
The theme will look at how unity in the
profession, in the delivery of services and
in the goal of better health outcomes
is the key to the profession growing
in the future and remaining viable
and sustainable while continuing to
improve the health and wellbeing of
These are the keys to the profession
growing in the future and remaining
viable and sustainable while continuing
to improve the health and wellbeing of
PAC's international appeal is underscored
through the agreement of Professor Zubin
Austin of the University of Toronto in
Canada to be a keynote speaker.
Professor Austin is
the inaugural holder
of the OCP Research
Pharmacy at the
University of Toronto
and has published
more than 80 peer-
reviewed manuscripts and three textbook.
Professor Austin, who will speak on
the topic of One Interesting Profession
Globally, has also received awards
for his research from national and
He is also an award-winning educator,
having received national and international
teaching awards. He has been named
undergraduate Professor of the Year by
students on 14 separate occasions.
PAC13 will be held at the Brisbane
Convention Centre from 10-13 October
2013. To register, go to psa.org.au/pac
RUM Board members
The RUM Project Chair and PSA Board
memeber, Mr Warwick Plunkett, has
announced the appointment of two
additions to the RUM Project Board of
Directors -- Dr Lynn Weekes AM and
Mr Mitch Messer.
Dr Weekes is currently the CEO of National
Prescribing Service (NPS), and Mr Mitch
Messer is a past Chairman of the Consumer
Health Forum (CHF).
be accorded the same right as every other
health professional; the right to accept
the Government MBS fee (bulk bill) or
to surcharge above this fee for those
patients who are able to pay.
The profession needs to stick together on
the issue of charging consulting fees as a
matter of professional pride and solidarity
as well as one of financial survival.
Pharmacists have undervalued their
contribution to healthcare for far too long
this must end.
PAC's global appeal
There is still time to register to come
to Australia's premier pharmacy
And this year it is being held in Brisbane
for the first time with a wide range of
national and international delegates
In fact, PAC's global appeal has been
confirmed with registrations already
being received for delegates from eight
Delegates will come from the United
Kingdom, Qatar, China, Nigeria, New
Zealand, Japan, Canada and the United
States to attend Australia's premier
PAC13's theme of ONE profession,
ONE focus, ONE voice is resonating
with members of the pharmacy
Attendance will increase delegates'
specific knowledge, attitudes, skills and
behaviours in support of their expanding
roles as pivotal professionals in the
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