The National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) has welcomed the recent Federal Government announcement of the reappointment of its four member organisations to participate in the Community Service Obligation (CSO).
Sigma Healthcare, Symbion, Australian Pharmaceutical Industries (API) and NPD (National Pharmacies) – have all been reappointed with new contracts that commenced on 1 April 2019.
The contracts will run until June 30. 2020, with the option of an initial extension of two years and the provision for a further two, one-year extensions until 30 June 2024.
NPSA Chairman Mark Hooper welcomed the continuing commitment by the Government to supporting universal access to medicines through the wholesale distribution system.
“The CSO is a world-class example of public health policy that supports the national interest. Government, pharmacists and patients benefit despite the unique logistical and cost challenges of medicine distribution in a country the size of Australia,” he said.
“This ensures that all Australians, regardless of location, can rely on timely delivery of all PBS medicines to and through their community pharmacy and the NPSA remains committed to working with the Government to uphold the strict standards of the CSO.
“The NPSA believes in a CSO that is open and fair for all who meet its standards. We also maintain however, that strict governance of those standards is critical to ensuring that the system can continue to meet its objectives in supporting equitable access to medicines.
“We look forward to continued engagement with the Department of Health over the duration of the new contracts and it is our hope that we can work towards extending the Deeds for as long as possible,” he said.