Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor MP has joined Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP, board members and pharmacists of the Mount Gambier UFS Chemist to discuss their concerns regarding the Federal Labor Government’s 60 dispensing policy.


In April 2023, the Federal Government announced the introduction of 60-day prescribing for some medicines.


The policy, due to come into effect from September 1 this year, will result in financial losses to each community pharmacy due to the loss in dispensing revenues for scripts the loss in other retail sales caused by the reduced number of visits to pharmacies.


An independent review commissioned by the Pharmacy Guild has found that as many as 20,000 jobs will be lost, 665 pharmacies will close and Australia’s most vulnerable patients will suffer under the Albanese Government’s 60-day dispensing policy.


Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor MP, said the Labor Government had failed to understand the wider implications of their policy.


“The Coalition has been listening to the genuine concerns of community pharmacists regarding the Albanese Government’s new 60 day dispensing policy,” Mr Taylor said.


“We don’t want to see medication supply shortages, reduced access to healthcare in our regions or community pharmacies closing their doors as a result of Labor’s actions.”


Mr Pasin said he was concerned that important services offered to some of the most vulnerable members of the community by pharmacies would be lost or diminished as a result of Labor’s ill thought out policy.


“Pharmacists play an integral role in the provision of primary healthcare in Australia, particularly in regional Australia.


“Labor has fundamentally mis-understood how the community pharmacy model operates and how integral it is for primary health care in regional areas. Labor’s so called ‘cost of living’ measure isn’t that at all. It’s simply cost shifting, and patients will end up paying more in the long run.” Mr Pasin said.


To compensate for lost revenue and ensure businesses remain viable, many pharmacies will be forced cut opening hours, including on weekends and end free services for patients such as blood pressure monitoring, home delivery of medicines and diabetes and asthma programs. Some pharmacies in smaller communities in regional Australia will be forced to close altogether.


As a Friendly Society Pharmacy, the UFS Mount Gambier operates on a not-for-profit basis. Financial surpluses are reinvested into increasing member value and benefits and provide other valuable healthcare services to their members and communities.


The organisation shares profits through grants and sponsorships including local sporting organisations, the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal, and contributes to the Mount Gambier and District Tertiary Health Scholarships which assists regional students to pursue their studies in health-related professions.


Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730