In response to concerns raised by members about the direction of pharmacy, PPA is launching “Clean Up Pharmacy” – a campaign calling for non-owners to share their concerns about worrying practices.
President Dr Geoff March said that PPA had been flooded with concerns from pharmacists since the Pharmacy Guild of Australia had cited allegations of questionable behaviour around the provision of HMRs and RMMRs as a reason for defunding these programs and even more recently, the revelation that one pharmacy had claimed 319 Medschecks in two weeks.
“There is a lot of concern about questionable practices occurring in our industry and our members have decided to ask all non-owner colleagues to share their concerns, so that we can bring them to the attention of the relevant authorities,” Dr March said.
“Concerns could include practices involving excessive numbers of Medschecks claims, underpayment of staff, and complicated ownership arrangements designed to avoid ownership rules.
“Our members are worried that these practices are driving down standards in community pharmacy and that this downward spiral is causing huge damage to our industry and important health services”, Dr March said.
Dr March said that a lot of the concern related to how difficult bad practices made it for owners who were doing the right thing.
“A lot of the concerns raised with us relate to the operations of larger pharmacy chains and the effect that they are having, forcing a greater and unsustainable level of competition on the owners who are doing the right thing, forcing down wages and damaging the reputation of pharmacy”, Dr March said.
Dr March said that all of the information shared with PPA would remain confidential and that information collected would be passed on to relevant authorities in general terms.
“Our intention is not to pass on claims regarding individual stores, rather collect a body of information that can be used to highlight issues of concern within the industry with politicians, Departments and regulatory bodies.
“With both the Pharmacy Industry Award and the Community Pharmacy Agreement up for review and negotiation this year non-owners have a unique opportunity to have a say on the direction of our industry.
“The information we gather in this campaign will be used in our efforts to campaign for changes to community pharmacy that will allow for better wages and conditions for non-owners, more emphasis on professional services and better outcomes for patients”, Dr March said.