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Community pharmacies under threat

Local pharmacies and our local pharmacists are an integral part of our community serving local residents each and everyday, but under the Federal Labor Government’s proposed changes to the PBS their future is uncertain.

Member for Oatley, Mark Coure opposed the changes and recently visited a number of local community pharmacists to discuss the impacts these changes will have upon their businesses, livelihoods and the services they provide.

“Community pharmacists are not part of big companies like Priceline or Chemist Warehouse, they are run and owned by young families and hardworking locals who still have mortgages to pay and expenses to cover.”

“From free medical advice to free blood pressure checks and in-home delivery of critical medications, community pharmacists provide a number of services that they don’t need too, but because of their close connection to their communities they do it out of a love of service to the local area.”

“I am backing our local community pharmacists all-the-way and have written to Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler to raise their serious concerns with him about what these changes will do to them.”

The owner of a community pharmacy in Oatley is just one community pharmacists who is extremely concerned about the future of their business.

“No smaller pharmacy can sustain this reduction unless they are bigger discounters who would welcome the closure of many smaller pharmacies in order to increase their customer base. The Federal Government should make healthcare more affordable but not at the expense of the pharmacy owners.” They said.

“This 60-day dispensing will cause even greater supply issues which have plagued pharmacies since pre-covid. We have had and currently have many drug shortages for antibiotics, cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication and most recently even warfarin. This 60-day dispensing will cause havoc amongst the community, as some people will get their medications and some will not due to shortages.”

“I feel that the Federal Government has blindsided the public into believing that the 60 day rule will save money but forgot or did not disclose that it was at the expense of their community pharmacy. They have also forgotten how important we were as the local hub for health during the pandemic lockdowns. Our doors were always open and people were very grateful for all we did and for all we do.

Member for Oatley, Mark Coure said that he would continue to advocate on behalf of our local pharmacies to ensure they are not significantly impacted by these proposed changes and looks forward to Minister Butler’s response.