Communique on the second Roundtable for the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement - Thursday 14 November 2019

On 14 November 2019, Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Secretary of the Department of Health, convened the second roundtable meeting with pharmacy and health stakeholders, to inform the Department’s advice to the Australian Government on the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA), expected to commence 1 July 2020.

Page last updated: 19 December 2019

Communique on the second Roundtable for the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement - Thursday 14 November 2019 (PDF 541 KB)

Stakeholder consultation
Key themes from the meeting
Next steps
Organisations that participated in the roundtable

Stakeholder consultation

The current five year, Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement, between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) is due to expire on 30 June 2020.

In line with the Government’s commitment to lead early and inclusive consultations to inform the 7CPA, the Department has met with a range of organisations since mid 2019. Negotiations have also continued with the Guild and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Stakeholder advice has focussed on how the 7CPA can achieve ongoing improvements to support affordability and increased access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines, underpinned by effective pharmacy services that achieve the best health outcomes for all Australians.

Thirty representatives attended from more than 20 national pharmacy and health and consumer organisations. Participants received a broad update on the progress of 36 consultation and negotiation meetings to date, and key priorities for Government, while maintaining the confidentiality of information shared by organisations during negotiations and consultations.

Key themes from the meeting

The Department shared the key themes emerging from stakeholder meetings over recent months, such as timely access to, and appropriate use of, medicines, services for older Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 7CPA governance, co-ordinated primary care, and rural and remote pharmacy services. In addition, the Department outlined some of the broader policy changes that will support consumers and the pharmacy sector, such as the Commonwealth:
  • finalising the framework to enable the prescribing, dispensing and claiming of PBS medicines in a seamless electronic manner.
  • improving medicine safety and reducing medicine related harm by advancing quality use of medicines as a new National Health Priority Area.
  • lowering the PBS Safety Net threshold for concessional and non concessional patients, from 1 January 2020.
Participants shared their views on the issues of most importance to their organisation, building upon the views expressed at the 23 July 2019 roundtable. Key areas of discussion are outlined, below.

Pharmacy services for older Australians:
  • enabling medication reviews to be conducted more frequently, including when the person has experienced a significant change in their health condition, or if they are changing health care setting; and to support follow up reviews.
Pharmacy services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:
  • reviewing and designing programs in close consultation with stakeholders.
  • opportunities to increase investment to support the appropriate use of medicines, and ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to culturally appropriate pharmacy services.
  • increasing access to affordable medication adherence support was raised.
Transparency and consultation:
  • increased consultation, including through establishing expert reference group/s, to provide recommendations and advice to the Department about pharmacy policies and programs.
  • Increasing monitoring and transparency, including through access to information about pharmacy policies, evaluation, the effectiveness of programs and funding.
  • enabling the CPA to be reviewed part-way through, to enable adjustments to be made in response to changing needs and innovations in care and medicines access.
  • increasing transparency for consumers, including advising consumers of the cost of a medicine before it is dispensed, to enable consumers to make an informed choice about the dispensing location.

Next steps

The Department will continue to meet with organisations, to clarify information or seek further views. Negotiations with the 7CPA signatories are ongoing and will continue as a matter of priority.

Organisations that participated in the roundtable

Aged and Community Services Australia
Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
The Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association Inc
Australian Medical Association
Australian Private Hospitals Association
Catholic Health Australia
Chemist Warehouse Group
Chemotherapy Compounding Group
Consumers Health Forum of Australia
COTA Australia (Council on the Ageing)
Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association
Leading Age Services Australia
The Medical Software Industry Association
Medicines Australia
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation
National Pharmaceutical Services Association
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Pharmacy Board of Australia
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
Primary Health Networks
Professional Pharmacists Australia
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia