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Review of fee by March 09 would solve problems

Media Release

21 August 2008

Review of fee by March 2009 would solve pharmacy problems

Ensuring that the review of the dispensing fee is completed by March 2009 is the answer to solving the current disputes between DHBs and pharmacists according to the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand Chief Executive, Annabel Young.

Ms Young's comments follow a public statement by New Zealand First health spokesperson Barbara Stewart calling for the dispute to be resolved.

"The review of the dispensing fee must be completed by March 2009, as is contractually required." says Ms Young

Pharmacists provide many additional services which are not covered by the dispensing fee, according to Ms Young.

"In the past, pharmacists have been reluctant to charge for the services they provide which are not covered by the dispensing fee, even though the Pharmacy Services agreement allows them to charge for this work."

"These include many of the things pharmacists do on a daily basis such as liaising with GPs about prescription changes, delivering prescriptions to elderly patients and blister packaging to help people remember their medicines - just to name a few."

"But, facing increased operating costs and no change in the dispensing fee since 2003 the reality is that pharmacists need to pass the cost of these services on to their customers." says Ms Young.


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