Professional Pharmacists Australia has condemned comprehensive changes announced by the Guild to Community Pharmacy Agreement (CPA) programs today.
President of Professional Pharmacists Australia Geoff March said the changes were “a slap in the face” to accredited pharmacists who did not own a pharmacy.
“The changes once again confirm that when it comes to administering the CPA, the Guild’s primary focus is in ensuring that the majority of funds from the CPA flow through the four walls of a pharmacy.
“By limiting the number of HMRs for each provider to 20 per month they are significantly limiting the ability of an accredited pharmacist to be able to operate in a manner that allows a fair level of remuneration.
“With these changes, an independent HMR pharmacist can only perform 20 HMRs a month, earning approximately $46,576 a year. This equates to $23.57 per hour – essentially the base award rate for a pharmacist.
“Despite all the talk coming from the Guild about the importance of professional services to the future of community pharmacy, they have made changes that limit the effectiveness of the flagship programs in the CPA.
“The limiting of MedsCheck/Diabetes MedsCheck to 10 per month, per pharmacy, simply demonstrates that the Guild does not value the role of professional services in community pharmacy.
“Worst of all, the real losers of this announcement, are patients who will miss out on the significant and life changing benefits that these programs are able to deliver,” Dr March said.
As we head into negotiations of 6CPA Dr March said that this announcement would give no faith to non-owner pharmacists that the Guild would be seeking to make any changes to the Agreement that sought to take into account anyone other than their members.
“At the same time as making an announcement that would limit the ability of non-owner pharmacists to earn a living, the Guild also announced an extra payment available for pharmacies to boost uptake of electronic prescriptions. This only reinforces the message that is being sent by the Guild to community pharmacy.
“What is even more galling is that these changes were made without any consultation with the Program Reference Group, making a mockery of the existence of the PRG.
“As the Guild, according to the announcement, will assume responsibility of these 5CPA programs, we call on the Guild to disclose if they will receive extra funds for administering the program,” Dr March said.
Media enquiries, or to interview Geoff March contact to Erik Locke ELocke@professionalsaustralia.org.au at PPA.