PDL supports the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s efforts in urging the Federal Government to consult with pharmacy on the real impact of 60-day dispensing.
Citing the recently published independent report commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia on the economic analysis of extending maximum dispensing quantity from 30 to 60 days for 325 PBS listed medicines, PDL is concerned by the enormous impact this announcement will have for many of their hard-working members.
PDL CEO, David Brown, said, “Along with all the key pharmacy organisations, PDL cannot understand why the government is pressing ahead with this change without adequate consultation on the impact to the profession, consumers and the broader health system.
“In addition to the obvious impact on many of our community pharmacy members laid bare in this detailed and impressive report, we have also flagged concerns about the likely detriment to patient safety emanating from these changes.
“The predicted financial impost on pharmacy businesses will see a reduction in the number of pharmacists and pharmacy assistants being employed, and lead to the closure of many community pharmacies. The financial impact of these policy changes is unlikely to see these people employed in other pharmacies.
“Any reductions in dispensary staff numbers or the number of community pharmacies will see an increased workload for the remaining staff and greater pressure on pharmacists, who hold ultimate responsibility for prescription supply accuracy and clinical oversight for the quality use of medicines,” Brown said
PDL’s incident reporting data indicates that high prescription volumes and staffing limitations are common contributing factors to incidents and errors. These incidents and errors can have impacts for patients through adverse effects and for pharmacists through regulatory actions and/or claims. This could be compounded by the doubling in the quantity of the medicine supplied.
The reductions in dispensary staff levels will affect the professional services available to the public and is likely to lead to costs for the provision of these services. If pharmacists are less available to assist patients or a fee is required to provide services, it is reasonable to expect that the number of dissatisfied clients will increase, with a proportionate increase in the number of complaints made against pharmacists.
PDL would encourage the Federal Government to urgently consult with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the broader profession regarding these significant changes.