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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : April 2005
news news ICTORIA’S Morgan and Rule Pharmacy has taken out the title of Pfizer Quality Care Pharmacy of the Year. Morgan and Rule’s OK V This year’s Award, presented at a gala dinner at the Australian Pharmacy Pro- fessional conference on the Gold Coast, involved a very high level of competition, according to Lorraine Humphries, Qual- ity Care Pharmacy Program director at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. ‘The competition was very close, but Morgan and Rule were very professional and very community-focused,’ Ms Humphries said. ‘They met the needs of their local, expanding community in Mornington very well; they had excellent human resources and training practices; and they had a dedicated QCPP staff member to co-ordinate the program.’ The pharmacy, owned by Genya Fleischer, was established in 1971 and now employs around 65 staff over an area of 10,000 square feet—which includes a coffee shop, beauty rooms, a spray-tanning room and more. The staff include a mothercraft nurse, dispensary technicians, naturopaths and beauty therapists. The pharmacy was one of the first to introduce forward pharmacy, in the 1980s, before it became popular. According to retail manager Sandra Huggins, a lot of the pharmacy’s success has to do with the close-knit team. ‘We all work extremely well together, and for many of us the pharmacy is like a second home,’ she told the AJP. ‘Many of us have worked here for a long time, and know each others’ strengths and weak- nesses very well. ‘We’re rigorous about QCPP, docu- menting everything, and so we’ve been able to learn from past mistakes and keep moving forward to improve our service.’ (L–R): Quality coordinator Claire Reynolds, Alan Feil of PBS Services, retail manager Sandra Huggins and pharmacist/manager Katie Klose. The other state winners were: Garden City Amcal Chemist (QLD), Maddi Parker Soul Pattinson Chemist (NSW), Health Information Pharmacy Lindis- farne (TAS), Harrison’s Chemworld Phar- macy (SA), Margaret River Pharmacy (WA) and Capital Chemist Chisholm (ACT). s EALTH Minister Tony Abbott has left open the option of not pursuing increased competition via the floating of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) patient co-payment, a move that would enable pharmacies to compete on price within the limits of the co-payment. Mr Abbott underlined his preference for more competition within pharmacy at the recent Australian Pharmacy Profes- sional conference and defended his posi- tion on co-payments, saying that he saw no reason why pharmacists should be blocked by legislation from offering lower prices on PBS drugs by offering discounts on the co-payment. (See more comment in Capital Hill p232 and the Guild presi- dent’s column, p233) However, following a question from Rhonda White, who offered a real exam- ple of what can happen when the co-pay- Abbott leaves door open on co-payment H ment becomes movable, Mr Abbott, gave himself a bit of room to move on the issue. Mrs White told of a situation from a Queensland public hospital that resulted from a state-wide policy ensuring conces- sion cardholders do not pay for more than four prescription items per time. A woman had decided to use the policy to her benefit by only having her prescrip- tions filled at a public hospital—up to eight at a time—and not a community pharmacy. A medication review found 19 bottles of Oroxine 100µg at the home —enough for supply for years at a time when Oxoxine was in short supply. ‘Obviously [this is] something subject to negotiation,’ he said. Mr Abbott said being given real-life examples such as this was one of the rea- sons he enjoyed attending events such as the APP conference. 224 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL 86 APRIL 2005 Mr Abbott added that location rules was an issue that the Government would seek more flexibility on from the Phar- macy Guild of Australia during the nego- tiations for the Fourth Community Phar- macy Agreement. He said that the existing rules had occa- sionally created ‘absurd outcomes’ and pointed to an example in Karratha in Western Australia where the policy had stopped the entry of a pharmacy in the one-pharmacy town. Mr Abbott also drew applause when he said that there would be no time when there is not an agreement between phar- macists and the Government. He said that while he was confident that negotiations for the fourth agreement will be completed by the 30 June deadline, he would extend the provision from the third agreement by three months if necessary. s