Pharmacies to Receive Significant Financial Boost Starting 1st July

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As the 75th anniversary of the Chifley Labor Government’s initiation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) approaches, Australia’s robust and enduring pharmacy industry receives significant financial support through new measures set to begin on 1 July.

“Every single dollar saved by the Government will go back into pharmacy services, so pharmacists play an even more central role in the health care of Australians.”

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Government Increases Pharmacy Payments: A Significant Boost in Support

Starting from July 1st, there will be a notable increase in payments to all community pharmacies when dispensing PBS medicines, resulting in an average metropolitan pharmacy receiving over $41,000 additional revenue annually.

The boost in government payments to community pharmacies will amount to a 7% increase, encompassing various services such as dispensing, handling, administration, and infrastructure.

This 7% indexation rise in pharmacy payments is almost double the 3.6% indexation rate applied to Medicare rebates, which will also be effective from the same date.

As an example, for a standard prescription of a ready-prepared item like atorvastatin, pharmacies will receive an extra $0.85, raising the fee per script to $12.99. This financial enhancement is expected to provide significant support to the pharmacy sector across the country. To know the financial increase for an average pharmacy, individuals are encouraged to explore the wealth of information available on here.

Boosted Assistance for Regional, Rural, and Remote Pharmacies

Starting from 1st July, regional, rural, and remote pharmacies are set to experience considerable advantages due to the twofold increase in the total annual budget allocated for the Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance (RPMA).

With a funding of $39.8 million, this program ensures that pharmacies dispensing 50,000 scripts annually in the specified locations will receive:

A large rural town (eg Armidale NSW, Bribie Island Qld, and Broadwater WA)An increase of $3,000 to a total of $6,000
A medium rural town (eg Margaret River WA, Port Pirie SA, Echuca Vic)An increase of $10,360 to a total of $21,965
A small rural town (eg Lang Vic, Mount Seymour Tas, Adelong NSW) An increase of $17,720 to a total of $37,930
A remote community (eg Queenstown Tas, Katherine NT, Auburn Qld)An increase of $25,080 to a total of $53,895
A very remote community (eg Currie Tas, Thursday Island Qld, Denham WA) An increase of $32,440 to a total of $69,860
Funds distribution rate for pharmacies at specified location.

The amount of assistance provided by the RPMA is determined by the number of prescriptions dispensed by a pharmacy. Certain extremely remote pharmacies in Australia may qualify to receive over $90,000 annually to support their pharmacy operations and ensure continued services for rural communities.

Opioid Dependency Treatment Brings Benefits to Pharmacies and Patients Alike

After enduring prolonged disparities in Medicare benefits, tens of thousands of Australians grappling with opioid dependency can now rejoice as a transformative change takes effect from 1st July. Gone are the days of uncapped out-of-pocket fees for crucial medications. Instead, patients will gain access to essential medicines on the PBS, with the government extending financial support to pharmacies for dispensing these vital treatments.

This momentous shift means patients will no longer bear the burden of exorbitant monthly out-of-pocket expenses that could reach up to $200. Instead, they will only be required to pay the standard PBS co-payment – a modest $30 for Medicare cardholders or $7.30 for concession cardholders, which will also count towards the PBS Safety Net threshold.

This momentous investment of $377 million in community pharmacies aims to alleviate the cost of living pressures faced by thousands of patients, with four out of five Australians seeking opioid dependency treatment being on income support.

To ensure a smooth transition, arrangements will remain in place until 30th November 2023. This will allow private clinics, non-PBS pharmacies, and other dosing sites to continue supplying these crucial medicines while transitioning to a PBS-approved pharmacy.

Medicine availability more secure with new rules

Commencing on 1st July, significant changes are implemented, mandating manufacturers of over 2,900 commonly used medicines to maintain a minimum stock of either four or six months within Australian borders. This strategic move aims to safeguard the health and well-being of Australian patients, pharmacists, and prescribers, particularly during times of global medicine shortages.

The newly introduced minimum stockholding requirements are a proactive measure to mitigate the adverse effects of supply disruptions, ensuring Australian manufacturers are better equipped to sustain a steady flow of essential medications. By having an adequate stockpile of medicines within the country, the nation’s healthcare system gains resilience and reliability, thereby minimizing potential disruptions to patient care. This initiative reflects the Australian government’s commitment to prioritizing the safety and well-being of its citizens while bolstering the nation’s pharmaceutical preparedness.

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