Consumers Forum Mixed Up on Pharmacy Agreement

27 November 2011

The Consumers Health Forum has published an analysis of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement which welcomed the Agreement and applauded the level of consultation with consumers.

The analysis, published in May 2010 at the time of the signing of the Agreement, is in stark contrast to recent statements by the CHF criticising the Agreement and supporting a call for a Senate Inquiry.

Last week a statement issued by the forum said: “The secrecy surrounding this deal is a real concern.”

Yet in May 2010, the Forum said: “CHF welcomes the final version of the Fifth CPA. For the first time in the history of Community Pharmacy Agreements, the views of consumers were specifically sought, and some of their concerns appear to have been taken into account in the final version of the Agreement. The Patient Service Charter is particularly welcome.”

The analysis document revealed: “CHF received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing (the Department) to inform the Government about consumer views on the content and implementation of the Fifth CPA. CHF’s consultation process involved initial informal consultations, two focused teleconferences, a national consultative workshop and a discussion paper on the implementation of the Fifth CPA.”

The six-page analysis concluded: “On the whole, CHF is pleased with the final version of the Fifth CPA.”

It is frankly bewildering that the CHF would now describe the Agreement as a “secret deal”. The CHF should withdraw its attacks on the Pharmacy Agreement, or explain how it got it so wrong in May 2010.

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Consumers Forum Mixed Up on Pharmacy Agreement