15 November 2019

Patient safety must come before pharmacy profits

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has reiterated its calls for patient safety to prevail over pharmacy profits.

The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has today urged the Federal Government to implement expert recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to ease dispensing restrictions and permit consumers to access two month supplies of 143 common prescribed medicines.

RACGP President Harry Nespolon has backed the CHF’s calls.

“Right now negotiations are at a key point and we are calling on the Federal Government to step up and do the right thing.

“Allowing patients to collect 60 days of scripts in a single visit to the pharmacy will support patient-centred care. It is practical, convenient and makes sense.

“Let’s make it easier for them rather than sending them back to the same pharmacy every month for no good reason.”

Dr Nespolon said that pharmacy lobbyists were primarily concerned with their bottom line.

“However, taking proper care of patients and ensuring they have access to the medicine they need is far more important.

“Let’s get our priorities straight here. The RACGP and CHF are simply calling on pharmacy to act responsibly and remember that this is about patients.

“Optimal access to healthcare needs to come first, not financial interests.

“If the Governments backs down and favours the pharmacy lobby that is a bad day for healthcare in this country.

“I will continue speaking out on this issue because I don’t want to see a positive initiative for Australian patients dismissed for no good reason.”

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor