Following the release of a discussion paper dubbed the “King Review” (as the Productivity Commission’s, Stephen King headed the review panel), which has been developed to review pharmacy remuneration and regulation procedures, discussions have opened up this week around what the review recommends and how this can impact pharmacy.

The Federal Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia agreed to performing a Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation, which involved the appointment of three, independent reviewers charged with examining pharmacy practices nation-wide and providing recommendations on remuneration, regulation, and pharmacy location guideline suggestions, among various other arrangements that apply to pharmacy and wholesalers for the dispensing of medicines and similar services.

On July 27, 2016, post- review, the panel released a discussion paper. Public submissions in response to the review are now invited. Follow this link to submit your response.

The King Review poses 140 questions around most aspects of the Australian Community Pharmacy Model, but predominantly focuses ion fees, business models, location rules, and the role of the pharmacist and what they charge for their services.

Announcing the release of the discussion paper, Mr King said the review aims to stimulate debate on both the current arrangements for pharmacy remuneration and regulation, and how these arrangements may be improved, in the interests of the Australian community.

“[The questions] are intended to challenge respondents to analyse current arrangements, re-think the role of community pharmacy, and consider new and innovative ideas on what community pharmacy could look like in the future,” said Mr King.

“Some stakeholders will see parts of the Discussion Paper as contentious and provocative. That is deliberate. In order to properly analyse the current system of pharmacy remuneration and regulation, existing approaches must be critically examined. While many parts of the system will stand up to such close scrutiny, other parts may be revealed as inadequate and in need of reform.”

Since its release, the review has been praised by some quarters for what it could achieve. It has also however, copped strong criticism from the pharmacy profession, with the National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia questioning, “Why should a system that has proven to work be changed for the sake of an economic theory?”

Pharmacists and pharmacy professionals are encouraged to read the Discussion Paper, and to submit their responses via email to the Review Secretariat, or to:

Pharmacy Review (MDP 900)

Department of Health

GPO Box 9848

Canberra ACT 2601

Written submissions in response to the Discussion Paper may be made until September 23, 2016. All comments and submissions received by the closing date will be reviewed and considered by the Panel.