Home' Australian Journal of Pharmacy : Jan-Feb 2017 Contents 9 KEY MESSAGES FROM THE LEADERS
A range of positive messages was delivered by political leaders
at the Pharmacy Guild’s annual Parliamentary Dinner.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (pictured):
• Since October 2013 there have been nearly 1000 new and
amended listings to the PBS, worth a total of $4.2 billion.
• Watching the video we just saw of Pharmacy 777
Nollamara, is a great example of why we support
pharmacies being owned by a pharmacist.
• Under the 6CPA, community pharmacy programs are
subject to a cost-effectiveness assessment to determine
whether they are providing value.... These reviews are
underway and while evidence is gathered and assessed,
ongoing funding will be made available to support
existing pharmacy programs.
• We are increasing, from $2 million to $10 million, the
threshold at which small businesses can access a range
of concessions. This will allow more businesses to claim
immediate tax deductibility for asset purchases costing
less than $20,000.
Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten
• I’d like to acknowledge Emma McBride, a new federal Labor
MP. She’s the only pharmacist in the 45th parliament, and
the only female pharmacist in any of the 45 parliaments.
• I understand that pharmacy still faces challenges in
perception. The perception that ever y pharmacist is ver y
wealthy, when many, after long years of study, are still only
earning $24 an hour. A situation that ultimately effects,
I think, the model of service.
• I did a survey of the services community pharmacies
provide in my electorate: diabetes support ser vices, life
coaching, health and wellness coaching, reaching out to
residential aged care facilities to better manage medication.
Greens leader Senator Richard Di Natale
• We hear over and over about unsustainable health
spending. The Greens take a different view, and most
people agree with us. A 2014 ANU poll found 81% thought
we should spend more on health and only 6% thought we
should spend less.
• The voice of pharmacists needs to be heard not just in
debates around possible reform to community pharmacy,
but also in broader debate around primary care, private
health insurance, PBS reform. •
TIPS ON HANDLING NDSS CHANGES IN THE NEW YEAR
Pharmacy staff need to keep on top of
changes to the National Diabetes Services
Scheme (NDSS), a senior pharmacist says.
NDSS changes, which came into
effect from 1 July 2016, mean all
registrants with non-insulin dependent
type 2 diabetes have had an initial
period of six months’ access to
subsidised blood glucose test strips.
The initial six-month period
commenced from the date the NDSS
registrant first obtained blood
glucose test strips from an NDSS
pharmacy after 1 July.
“It can be expected from early
January that those people who have
a clinical need to continue ongoing
blood glucose monitoring will wish
to have uninterrupted access to test
strips,” says Chris Flood, a senior
pharmacist and the national manager
of PBS Operations and Strategy at the
Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
“Pharmacy staff can remind these
people to see their doctor early and
if assessed to continue monitoring,
are also able to update their eligibility
into NDSS Connect from a completed
Approval Form,” he told the AJP.
Once updated, the registrant has
immediate access to blood glucose test
strips for a further six months.
For registrants who do not have their
eligibility updated, after the initial six-
month period has expired, pharmacies
will not be able to process requests for
test strips through NDSS Connect until
the person is assessed and eligibility
details confirmed and updated.
He also points out that Diabetes
Australia will be providing information
for pharmacy staff about the changed
arrangements via the NDSS Access
Point training portal.
Flood recently presented at a
diabetes forum held by Western Sydney
Diabetes, in partnership with the PSA,
Pharmacy Guild of NSW and Western
Sydney PHN, and sponsored by BD.
Fellow speaker and NSW community
pharmacist Peter Rushton said that
while in most cases the GP was the
primary healthcare provider for
people with diabetes, pharmacists
should become more familiar with the
diabetes patient journey.
“The role of pharmacists and allied
health professionals is to work as a
team to support the GP, by driving
compliance and reinforcement,
monitoring, encouraging ownership
of patients’ health and ultimately
prov iding support,” said Rushton.
“Pharmacists should familiarise
themselves w ith the health network
referral process for a person w ith
diabetes and make sure they understand
the associated terminology. Only then
can pharmacists reinforce the GPs’
messages, help improve medication
compliance, and support and empower
the person with diabetes.”
Professor Glen Maberly, a senior staff
specialist from Western Sydney Diabetes,
said discussing pharmacy’s contribution
to diabetes care was timely.
“The management of diabetes is
extremely complex and has become
even more so in recent years—the
NDSS changes, new classes of diabetes
medications and also emerging
clinical evidence around pen needle
length are all contributing factors,”
said Professor Maberly.”
PHARMACY RETAIL RATINGS RELEASED
The co - ow ned My Chemist and Chemist
Warehouse chains have monopolised
the pharmacy retail honours in
the recent Roy Morgan Customer
Results from the survey of 8527
consumers were revealed in December.
My Chemist sat atop the pharmacy
retail rankings, with Chemist
Warehouse in second place. My Chemist
achieved a 91% rating from consumers.
Completing the top five pharmacy
chains in the 12 months to October
2016 were: Priceline Pharmacy (3),
Soul Pattinson (4) and Terry White
Both Chemist Warehouse and Terry
White Chemists achieved an increase
in the number of satisfied customers
compared to the previous sur vey.
Ratings for Priceline and Soul Pattinson
were lower than in the previous survey.
Chemist Warehouse Group COO
Mario Tascone said: “Our staff strive to
be the best, and do their best—ensuring
a great experience for ever y customer
that walks through our stores, so we
could not be happier with the results.”
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