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Guild Concerned by Bulk Funding for Pharmacy

14 July 2008

Guild Concerned by Bulk Funding for Pharmacy

The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand is concerned about the proposed approach by the Otago and Southland DHBs to introduce bulk funding for community pharmacies. The new plan, if adopted, would effectively reduce the amount of subsidised medicines that are dispensed from community pharmacies.

"If the DHBs get it wrong, the biggest risk is that patients will be under serviced and will not have access to the necessary care and medicines they require."

"There are major risks in any form of capped funding. It is extremely difficult to get the formula right especially because the pharmacists who would be managing the funding do not write the prescriptions. The proposed approach would also require a closer GP/Pharmacist working relationship which, although positive, would need to be managed carefully as it develops." says Guild Chief Executive Annabel Young.

"For community pharmacists, the proposals could affect their ability to provide the best care to every patient, as well as having a direct impact on the survival of their practices." says Ms Young.

The Guild, which represents around three quarters of the pharmacies in the area, is concerned by the lack of consultation on the proposed plan. Despite the fact that the plan is set to go to the DHBs' Community and Public Health Advisory Committee tomorrow, the Guild is not aware of any attempt by the DHBs to test the workability of their proposal with all local pharmacists.

"We think the Community and Public Health Advisory Committee should delay any decision until it has sought a better cross section of community pharmacists' views and has understood the practical effect of the proposal."

"We are very surprised that the project has got this far without more comprehensive consultation throughout community pharmacy and we will be contacting the Otago and Southland DHBs with our concerns."

"We want to work closely with the DHBs and the PHOs on all issues affecting community pharmacy to ensure that Kiwis get the most appropriate and cost-effective health care." says Guild Chief Executive Annabel Young.

ENDS

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