New drugs will be listed as part of the PBS.

What does the Federal Budget mean for Australian pharmacies?

The 2017-18 Federal Budget was unveiled on May 9, with the pharmaceutical industry praising the Turnbull government for supporting organisations within the sector.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt announced a range of measures that the Pharmacy Guild of Australia claimed would provide "certainty and stability" for businesses and their customers.

Here is a summary of the key pledges outlined in the budget.

Sacubitril and Valsartan will both be listed on the PBS this financial year at a cost of $514.6 million.

$225 million of reimbursements

Pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers have been promised $225 million over a three-year period. This will reimburse them for lower-than-expected script volumes for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medications and remuneration losses due to the Strategic Agreement with Medicines Australia.

The money will be paid through Administration, Handling and Infrastructure fees in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA).

$600 million for 6CPA program improvements

The Australian government confirmed how it will spend $600 million already committed to 6CPA Community Pharmacy Programs. The money, held in a contingency reserve fund, will go towards:

  • Dose administration aids ($360 million);
  • Home medicine reviews ($60 million);
  • Staged supply ($80 million);
  • MedsCheck and Diabetes MedsCheck expansion ($90 million); and
  • The inclusion of medication management schemes within Health Care Homes (HCHs).

One-off price reductions for PBS medicines

Medications that have been a part of the PBS for 10-14 and 15+ years by July 1, 2018 will receive one-off price reductions of 10 and 5 per cent, respectively.

This will be an ongoing process, and every eligible drug obtains the deduction in April of the year they reach their tenth anniversary.

Pharmacy accounting and DBS Accountants.
The federal government announced a range of budget measures for pharmacies.

$1.2 billion for new and amended PBS listings

The one-off price reductions are part of $1.8 billion that has been set aside to make medicines more affordable between 2016-17 and 2020-21. Sacubitril and Valsartan will both be listed on the PBS this financial year at a cost of $514.6 million to support patients with chronic heart failure.

"This will benefit more than 60,000 Australians every year who currently pay around $2,000 per year for this medicine. Concessional patients will now only pay around $6.30 per script and non-concessional patients will pay $38.80," Mr Hunt stated.

Pharmacy accounting

The federal budget announcements are likely to have a financial impact on pharmacies across the country, which will have a knock-on effect for business' tax obligations.

If you would like to discuss your ongoing tax and auditing needs, please contact DBS Accountants for more information on our specialist services within the pharmaceutical sector.