5 May 2013 Media release Media release Media release
Guild welcomes chemotherapy funding measure
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government of additional funding for the provision of chemotherapy medicines to ensure these important medicines continue to be available for cancer patients.
The interim measure acknowledging the costs entailed in the safe supply of these medicines will be in place from 1 July until 31 December 2013, allowing time for a thorough review of the funding of chemotherapy services in the interests of patient certainty about their availability in the long term.
The Executive Director of the Guild, David Quilty, said: “We welcome this announcement by the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, particularly in view of the very difficult fiscal environment. This decision highlights the importance the Minister and the Government place on these vital services for cancer patients. “Back in November, the Minister said ‘The Government is determined cancer patients will not miss out.’ This announcement delivers on that undertaking, and we thank the Minister and her Department for their work on reaching this outcome,” Mr Quilty said.
“We also welcome the fact that this interim funding has been found from outside the Community Pharmacy Agreement. This means that the vast majority of community pharmacies which are not involved in the provision of chemotherapy medicines will not be disadvantaged, and it is a clear demonstration of the Government and the Minister’s strong ongoing commitment to the wider community pharmacy sector,” he said.
The new funding which will be provided from 1 July until 31 December is an acknowledgement that the viability of private chemotherapy service delivery had been put at risk by the impact of price disclosure cuts from last December on some chemotherapy drugs, and that previously cross-subsidised chemotherapy services were in danger of being rendered uneconomic.