Included in the announced Federal Budget last October 25, 2022, is the reduction of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme general co-payment. Starting January 2023, from $41.50, the fee will now be trimmed to $30.
According to Trent Twomey, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s National President, this move is very helpful and convenient for the Australian community. Interestingly, one of the reasons why this finally happened is because of the advocacy of pharmacists on behalf of their patients who struggle with high-cost medicines.
The result of this advocacy is a huge milestone for The Guild as it finally allowed a co-payment cut after 70 years, acknowledging the significance of making medications more accessible to Australians. Professor Twomey also stated that this is a crucial first step in restoring Australia's universal medicine access. Moreover, The Guild does not stop at $30. It will still move forward to achieve a lower co-payment of $19.
9 Million COVID-19 Vaccines Delivered by Community Pharmacists
More great news in the pharmaceutical industry, most especially, in community pharmacy, is the successful delivery of 9 million COVID-19 vaccines to the community since July 2021. This milestone effectively gave way to reducing the spread of the virus as well as protecting the Australian community.
According to Professor Twomey, in August last year, only around 8% of the community opted to get COVID-19 shots from the community pharmacies. But, in late October this year, around 47% of Australians put their trust in community pharmacists in getting not just COVID-19 vaccines but other vaccines as well such as flu vaccines.
The remaining 53% of the community is still getting their vaccinations from doctor’s clinics, health centres, and Commonwealth vaccination facilities. This simply means that community pharmacies are the largest vaccine providers.
Who is the 2022 Pharmacy Assistant of the Year?
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia / Maxigesic 2022 Pharmacy Assistant of the Year was awarded to Terri Bakker from Terry White Chemmart Rosny Park in Tasmania at the Conference Dinner of the Pharmacy Assistant National Conference (PATY).
This award is for pharmacy assistants who go above and beyond to assist patients and who take the initiative to further their own careers. Terri Bakker got the award after winning from over 170 PATY Award entries, 64 finalists, and 8 State and Territory Winners.
Getting this award, Terri Bakker received a unique glass trophy, $5,000 in cash, a Guild Training package, and return airfare, lodging, and registration to the Pharmacy Assistant National Conference and Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP2023) on the Gold Coast.
In line with this, Terri is also invited to be the judge in next year’s PATY National Workshop. Other pharmacy assistants were also awarded during the conference. One of these is Bianca Busby from St. James Newstart Pharmacy who was awarded the National Glucojel Super Star Award.
For next year’s Pharmacy Assistant Award, the nomination is now open. For those who would like to participate, click on this link. Take note that the nomination will only be until January 31, 2023.
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