7th Community Pharmacy Agreement to support the safe and quality use of medicines for all Australians
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) welcomes the signing of the 7th Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) which delivers $1.2B ongoing funding for patient-focused pharmacy programs that will provide greater access to pharmacists and support the safe and quality use of medicines for all Australians.
PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman said the 7CPA will deliver increased investment where it is needed most, including for people living in rural, regional and remote areas, and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Importantly, the recent changes to medicines management programs to enable a cycle of care approach, including patient follow-up, will be maintained to support quality and safe use of medicines, particularly for older Australians.
A/Prof Freeman said the agreement provided certainty around medication management programs which would enable pharmacists to help solve the issue of medication-related harm in Australia, that costs the economy $1.4 billion annually.
“This agreement is an increase of $100 million on expenditure for professional programs under the previous agreement,” he said.
“PSA fought incredibly hard to represent pharmacists in this agreement. This was a particularly difficult agreement to negotiate, given the likely impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“This is a forward-looking agreement, flexible in its approach. It provides an opportunity for the implementation of significant policy reforms, particularly in the areas of aged care and mental health that will have a direct impact on patient health outcomes
“This agreement also supports the uptake of electronic prescribing to enable safer and more efficient use and supply of medicines by pharmacists while supporting patient choice and ensuring their privacy is maintained.”
For the first time, PSA is a signatory to the Community Pharmacy Agreement and remains the custodian for the Code of Ethics, National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists, Professional Practice Standards and practice guidelines governing the professional practice of pharmacists in Australia.
“This will enable PSA to shape professional practice standards and raise the bar of professional pharmacist practice in Australia,” A/Prof Freeman said.
“PSA’s role in negotiations will achieve genuine and positive outcomes over the term of the agreement, support the vital role of pharmacists in primary care and enable them to practice to full scope, delivering better health outcomes for their patients.
“PSA would like to thank the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt, who recognised our status as the peak body for pharmacists and custodian of professional practice and included us as a signatory to the Community Pharmacy Agreement for the first time.
“We would also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.”
A/Prof Freeman said PSA would continue to work with Minister Hunt, the Department of Health, and the Pharmacy Guild on a number of additional funding measures for consumers so that pharmacists can realise their potential as part of the wider health care team.
Media contact: PSA Media 0487 922 176