8th Community Pharmacy Agreement (8CPA) signed

The Albanese Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia have signed the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement (8CPA).

The 8CPA will mean Australian patients continue to receive cheaper medicines, and worldclass healthcare from their local pharmacies.

The 8CPA, which will commence on 1 July 2024 will provide a better deal for pharmacies and delivers a funding boost of $3 billion and a total $26.5 billion in funding over five years including:

  • $22.5 billion for community pharmacies to dispense prescriptions
  • $2.1 billion for a new Additional Community Supply Support Payment
  • $1.05 billion over five years for other pharmacy services and programs, including Dose Administration Aids, MedsChecks, Staged Supply of medicines, and an increased Regional Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance
  • $484.4 million to cover the costs of a one-year freeze on the maximum Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment for everyone with a Medicare card and up to a five-year freeze for pensioners and other Commonwealth concession cardholders
  • $196.7 million to increase the number of patients who can receive funded Dose Administration Aid services
  • $103.3 million for new and improved pharmacy programs

The agreement will give community pharmacies more financial certainty and will support a sustainable pharmacy network across Australia.

From 1 July 2024, the Government is establishing a new Additional Community Supply Support Payment, which will replace the Regional Pharmacy Transition Allowance (RPTA).

The Additional Community Supply Support Payment will give pharmacists more confidence to continue delivering services for their patients, particularly cheaper medicines through 60-day prescribing, without increasing patient fees.

The 8CPA will deliver even more cost-of-living relief through cheaper medicines, thanks to the temporary freeze on indexation of PBS co-payments.

This is in addition to the more than $370 million Australians have already saved through last year’s cut to the maximum patient co‑payment and the introduction of 60-day prescriptions.

Consultations on the 8CPA have been extensive, with more than 100 meetings held with more than 20 organisations. These have focused on priority issues for Australian patients and pharmacies.

The Government has also signed a Strategic Agreement on Pharmacist Professional Practice Standards with the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

Commencing from 1 July 2024, this five-year agreement will ensure the standards governing pharmacists in Australia remain fit for purpose.

The PSA will develop, review and update a number of practice standards, guidelines, codes, and competency frameworks to support community pharmacists to operate to a consistent standard and at the highest level of practice.

The Government will begin discussions with the PSA and select stakeholders regarding pharmacy programs not included in the 8CPA.

Minister Butler said,

“The Albanese Government is delivering cheaper medicines for all Australians.

“Australians trust their local pharmacist to look after their health needs.

“This new agreement will support pharmacists to deliver more services and cheaper medicines.

“The agreements we have struck are a win for patients who will benefit from cheaper medicines and more pharmacy services.

“I want to the thank the Pharmacy Guild, the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, and the wide range of stakeholders who have engaged in this process to deliver better health outcomes for Australians.”

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