Consumers get service and value from community pharmacy

Media Release

Across Australia, thousands of community pharmacies have remained open to serve patients and dispense vital medicines throughout this dreadful COVID-19 pandemic.

Pharmacies have gone above and beyond to serve patients because they are connected to their communities and committed to the health needs of their patients.

This commitment to our primary health care role makes it all the more regrettable see an unfair and ill-informed attack on community pharmacy by News Corp tabloid newspapers – displaying no understanding whatsoever of the varying costs associated with running a small business or the overwhelming benefit for consumers of our subsidised medicine scheme the PBS.

The extraordinary thing is that this petty attack on pharmacists gives no credit whatsoever to the skill, experience or clinical responsibility of professional pharmacists dispensing medicines, nor to the need for a small business to be viable.

The preposterous thesis of the articles in News Corp newspapers is that medicines should be sold in pharmacies for around the same price that they cost. And further, that pharmacies should all charge the same price for under co-payment, non-subsidised medicines, regardless of their cost base, including varying rent or wage costs.

It is just a fantasy of course, and deeply disappointing that News Corp editors think this sort of attack on pharmacy- year in year out by the same reporter – is worthy of space in a newspaper.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, George Tambassis, said:

“Fortunately, real consumers know the value and quality of their local pharmacy, and trust and respect their pharmacist and pharmacy staff. They know that pharmacies strive to deliver the best possible value to their patients.

“This latest unfair assault on medicine pricing is all the more galling when you consider that pharmacies have stayed open and served patients throughout this COVID-19 pandemic in a way that is immensely courageous.

“It is quite appalling that a media organisation would focus on why a medicine might be $9.95 at one pharmacy but $10.95 at another at a time when we are at Stage 4 restrictions in Victoria, and pharmacies all over the country are continuing to serve the community with such distinction,’ Mr Tambassis said.

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