Guild put profits above patients in latest lobby attempt

  • RACGP describes back down by government on PBAC decision to allow 60-day dispenses for 143 medications as a loss for patient safety.
  • The back down is due to moves by the Pharmacy Guild to restrict increase access to patients.
  • The RACGP calls on the Pharmacy Guild to rethink its lobbying moves and to prioritise patients.
  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has today called out the Pharmacy Guild’s latest successful lobbying move to restrict the amount that can be dispensed at any one time for 143 common medications, saying the Guild was only thinking of business profits.

    “The public needs to be aware that when it comes down to pharmacy profits or patient benefits, the patient comes second to the Guild,” RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon said.

    “This issue is particularly concerning for me at the moment, as a GP going into flu season. When you see a pharmacist trying to administer flu vaccinations too early, you do have to wonder why patient safety is not the first priority.

    The Pharmacy Guild’s latest move eliminates the potential to reduce patients’ out of pocket costs, improve access, and improve medication compliance.

    “The Guild’s successful lobbying means a patient in a rural area taking a basic medication responsibility will now be required to travel into their nearest town more frequently to fill a simple script. Most patients just do not have time for this,” Dr Nespolon said.

    “Any patient who is not in the position to manage a 60 day dispense instead of 30 days would have been able to be easily managed by their treating professional. Removing the benefits from other patients is simply short sighted.”

    Dr Nespolon said there was no way to confuse what has happened behind the scenes of the Guild’s lobbying.

    “The Pharmacy Guilds’ own email to its members it noted its concern on how 60-day dispenses would affect pharmacy profits.

    “What I want to see from the Pharmacy Guild is a refocus on what can bring benefits to both the patient and the pharmacist, unfortunately this has not been the case in this decision.”

    /Public Release. View in full here.