In a post on the AFR’s Pharmacy Price Chopper website, the company’s chief executive officer, Steve Tipp, said the company was working to reduce the amount of cost sharing it was paying for pharmacy services, while still providing the “most competitive” prices.
“The industry has to look at how to work with us and our partners to make sure that we can still compete and deliver the best prices in Australia,” he said.
“But the big thing that we’re focusing on is reducing the amount that we have to pay for our competitors and keeping them competitive.”
Mr Tipp said the new pricing was “a great opportunity for us to compete” and “take advantage of our new business models to deliver the most competitive prices in the industry”.
“The big thing for us is we want to give our customers as much value as we can, so we’re looking at the whole package and we’re working hard to do that,” he added.
What to expect from the pharmacist price change?
Pharmacists will have to decide how much they are willing to pay.
Pharmacists who do not want to accept the new prices will have the option to continue to provide the same pharmacy services.
Pharmacy services will continue to be paid out at the existing rates.
Pharmacies with no pharmacy coverage will have an option to choose between continuing to pay the full cost of their pharmacy services or going up to $40 per hour.
Pharmacist rates will also change to reflect the new rates, with the current rate of $38.50 per hour going up from $38 per hour to $41 per hour over the next five years.
Pharmacist pay will remain the same.
What to do if you do not feel you’re getting value for money?
Pharmacy service providers who have signed up to a scheme may be able to opt out of the new plan.
The changes will come into effect from September 1.
If you are a pharmacy, you can apply for a reimbursement plan that will provide you with a discount to the current prices, but you must still pay the $38 price.
If you don’t qualify for a rebate, you may still be able get a discount if you sign up to the discount scheme.
Read more about pharmacy: Pharmacists are concerned about the impact the new price will have on their businesses.
Dr David Davenport, a GP, said some services had been lost due to cost sharing, while others would not be affected.
“We’ve had to cancel some services that we had planned to provide,” he told the ABC.
“Some of the pharmacy services we had put on the books were going to be cancelled and it would be a loss for our patients.”
I think the biggest thing that the pharmacy sector is worried about is that we are not seeing that there is any meaningful benefit to being on the pharmacy price plan.