The Seventh Community Agreement on Pharmacies (7CPA) supports consumers` access to pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicines through pharmacies across Australia. Essential services and clinical governance provided by all pharmaceutical companies and commissioned by NHS England; 7CPA recognizes the crucial role community pharmacies play in improving the health of all Australians. Patients pay a contribution to the cost of their medications to the pharmacist, who then claims to the government the difference between what they paid the wholesaler and the patient`s contribution. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014, the government used $9.1 billion for PBS-listed drugs. That is exactly what that money received that was regulated by the Community Pharmacy Agreement. Marketing authorization requires pharmacists to apply to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (ACPA), an independent legal authority responsible for reviewing applications for the supply of pbs drugs pursuant to section 90 of the Act. As part of the application review, CAPA must consider the location of the proposed pharmacy, as we need pharmacies to create a distribution network so that everyone can access the drugs listed on PBS in the country. The 7CPA aims to improve patient choice and health skills in accessing medicines through community pharmacies. Just as community pharmacies have experienced a period of considerable uncertainty and volatility as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic, so have pharmaceutical wholesalers. The Guild recognizes and supports the crucial role of the pharmaceutical distribution infrastructure, and the importance of its strength remains high. Since its inception 25 years ago, the Community Pharmacy Agreement`s intention has been to ensure that all Australians have access to the medicines listed on PBS, wherever they live.
The Australian network of approximately 5,500 community pharmacies has played a key role in achieving this goal. The sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) between the Australian government and the Guild allocates approximately US$18.9 billion to more than 5,000 community pharmacies for the distribution of pbs drugs, the provision of pharmacy programs and services, and community engagement agreements for services with pharmaceutical wholesalers. The signing of 7CPA demonstrates the government`s ongoing commitment to helping Australian patients through a community pharmacy. Since 2005, the Australian government has funded a community service bond (ESC) funding pool. The CSO Funding Pool ensures that all Australians have continuous access to all PBS drugs through community pharmacies. It provides financial support to pharmaceutical wholesalers and provides the entire supply of PBS drugs, regardless of where the pharmacy is being implemented and the relative delivery costs. The CPA provides direct financial support (DEPA 950 million) to some pharmaceutical wholesalers at any additional cost they may incur for the availability of the full range of PBS-based drugs. This ensures that the entire range is available regardless of where the pharmacy is set up and the relative delivery fee. It also helps ensure that low-volume PBS drugs, which are often very expensive drugs, are delivered within 24 hours to pharmacies across Australia. Since 1990, the remuneration received by pharmacists for the dispensing of drugs from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and the regulation of the location of pharmacies have been governed by a number of agreements between the Australian government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild). Over time, these agreements have expanded their scope and now offer professional pharmacy programs and services.
Any subsequent agreement has helped to maintain the principle of equitable distribution of pharmacies throughout the country through professional controls on the location rule, which stipulates that a pharmacy should not be open within 1.5 kilometres of an existing pharmacy.