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HBDHB and pharmacies reach agreement

September 9, 2008

HBDHB and pharmacies reach agreement

Following recent public concern at Hawke’s Bay pharmacies overcharging for dispensing prescriptions, all but one of the pharmacies identified have now stopped the practice.

Complaints against 18 pharmacies were received from the public and investigated by the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board in August.

A series of letters and in some cases meetings between, the DHB and contracted pharmacies resulted in 17 of the 18 agreeing to stop the charging of $4.00 per prescription item instead of the $3 they should have been charging.

Wendy Wasson contract administrator said the DHB will be taking the matter further with the one pharmacy that remained in breach of its contract.

“We are very pleased with the outcome and would like to thank the pharmacies and the public for their co-operation,” Mrs Wasson said.

“The DHB would like to acknowledge a number of pharmacies in Hawke’s Bay who have never charged the additional prescription fee and would like to thank them for their ongoing commitment to their contract with the DHB, and to the general public” she said.

Mrs Wasson said that there were a number of instances where pharmacists were able to charge additional service fees which included; faxed prescriptions, special packaging or home delivery of prescriptions.

These services were not covered by the DHB’s contract with pharmacies, she said.

In these instances pharmacists should identify any extra charges and discuss them with their customers who can then decide whether they wish to have and pay for the extra service, Mrs Wasson said

ENDS

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