Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist January 2014 Contents Australian Pharmacist January 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
ACT appoints pharmacist to
advise on ageing
Canberra pharmacist Patrick Reid, Chief
Executive Officer of Leading Aged Services
Australia, has been appointed as one of
five new experts to the ACT Government's
Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing.
The appointments were announced
by the ACT Minister for Ageing, Shane
Rattenbury, who said the council assisted
the Government in the development and
implementation of positive ageing policies
to advance the status and interest of
Mr Reid said he was honoured by the
appointment and looked forward to
offering his expertise as a pharmacist
while advocating on behalf of aged
'I believe that the age services sector
needs to fully utilise the services of all
health professionals and pharmacists, as
the medicines experts, have a critical role
to play,' Mr Reid said.
Mr Reid is a member of the Pharmaceuick
Reid as a member of the council brings
the expertise of the CEO of the age
services peak body, combined with that
of a pharmacist, to the table in this very
'As the nation's ageing population
increases, the range and quality of services
needed to meet their needs also grows.
'Issues such as medication compliance
and reviews of medications taken by
older people both in the home and in care
are areas of great importance in which
pharmacists have a unique expertise.'
Associate Professor Kyle said Mr Reid's
appointment onto the council would also
bring added healthcare expertise to the
'As CEO of LASA Patrick is in a great
position to drive change in the age
services sector and his expertise as a
healthcare professional will bring an
added dimension to the contributions he
makes to the Ministerial Advisory Council
Australia has a long way to go
before consumers pay fair prices for
pharmaceuticals, according to a Grattan
Institute report, Poor pricing progress:
price disclosure isn't the answer to high
It claims that the report shows that
even after medicine price reductions in
December Australian prices for the seven
drugs involved are on average 14 times
higher than prices for the same drugs in
the United Kingdom. Further, Australia's
'price disclosure' policy was introduced
in 2007 in a bid to cut costs. But drugs
that have just been through this process
have wholesale prices that are on average
over 16 times that of the lowest price in
New Zealand, the UK and the Canadian
province of Ontario.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA)
welcomed the Grattan Institute's strong
recognition of the need to address the
significant deleterious impact that further
reforms to medicine prices would have on
Grattan Institute Health Director Stephen
Duckett said: 'Price disclosure has not
gone far enough or fast enough, and it's
time for a new approach.
Under price disclosure, pharmacies are
forced to reveal discounts on drug prices
that manufacturers provide them, and the
Government reduces the amount paid
to pharmacies for each drug accordingly.
But another 2013 Grattan report,
Australia's bad drug deal, shows that if the
Government benchmarked the prices of
generic drugs against prices paid overseas
it could save more than $1 billion a year in
payments to manufacturers.
'We're simply buying drugs the wrong
way: we need to be much tougher on
prices and much fairer for consumers,'
Dr Duckett said.
He said that any business would look
around to check the market price, and
the Government should do the same.
There is simply no reason why Australians
shouldn't get a better deal on medicines,'
PGA Executive Director, David Quilty, said
that the report states that 'better prices
would significantly reduce income for
community pharmacies' and that 'this is a
'Pharmacies are already facing massive
reductions in income from the existing
price disclosure regime with the Pharmacy
Guild estimating that, next financial year
alone, dispensary remuneration will fall by
an average of $90,000 per pharmacy.
'The Guild has consistently supported
cheaper medicines as long as it is ensured
that Australia's 5,350 pharmacies are
properly remunerated for their vital clinical
role of safely dispensing medicines as
well as the care, support and advice they
provide to 300 million patients every year.
'This is clearly not happening under the
current regime with the Guild estimating
that up to 40% of pharmacies will be
unviable or only marginally viable next
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