Communique on the first Roundtable for the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement - Tuesday 23 July 2019

On 23 July 2019, Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Secretary of the Department of Health, convened a roundtable meeting with stakeholders to discuss priorities and reform ideas for a new Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Page last updated: 19 December 2019

Communique on the first Roundtable for the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement - Tuesday 23 July 2019 (PDF 421 KB)

National consultation
Purpose of meeting and key themes
Next steps
Organisations that participated in the roundtable

National consultation

The current five year, 6th Community Pharmacy Agreement, between the Commonwealth of Australia and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia is due to expire on 30 June 2020. The Australian Government committed to lead early and inclusive negotiations with the goal of signing a new Agreement by the end of 2019.

The participants acknowledged the broad and inclusive representation expressing a diversity of views at the forum, with more than 20 organisations representing consumers (including aged care, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people living in rural and remote communities), pharmacists, pharmacy regulatory and accreditation bodies, pharmacy owners, wholesalers, hospitals and the medical and primary care sector. A full list of organisations at the roundtable is attached.

Purpose of meeting and key themes

In a statement, the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP expressed his expectation that consultation for the Agreement should focus on key policy and funding considerations that include different patient service settings; innovative models of care, particularly for specific consumer groups such as the aged and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and people in rural and remote communities; access to services; digital and e health measures; and workforce development to support the role of pharmacists into the future.

Key themes discussed during the forum included:
  • opportunities to better support safe and quality use of medicines, particularly to address safety in transitions of care between health care teams and settings.
  • ensuring older Australians in residential aged care facilities and those living across a range of independent settings, have access to timely and affordable expert professional pharmacy services. New innovative models of care supporting on site pharmacists were identified as one of the options for consideration.
  • the utilisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health service structures to improve access to medicines and medication management support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly those living in rural and remote areas.
  • increasing access to services in rural and remote areas, including pharmacy workforce planning and distribution arrangements.
  • increasing transparency and accountability and developing metrics to better support planning, quality improvement and reform. Financial and performance data, and program evaluation information was identified as important to measure or inform health outcomes.
  • integrated care and multi-disciplinary care within the primary care team, including Primary Health Network linkages, and pharmacists’ scope of practice, such as prescribing in partnership models of care, in specific situations.
  • progress in electronic and digital health technologies, including the importance of access to real-time prescription dispensing information and potential acute care treatment needs by health care professionals.
  • the automation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Safety Net.

Next steps

Continued consultation will occur over the coming months to provide advice to the Government on how the new Agreement can improve access to affordable medicines and health care services, and support the quality use of medicines by patients in the next five years, and beyond.

Organisations that participated in the roundtable

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
Health Care Consumers 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