The cost of dispensing chemotherapy agents is very high. Editor's Comment:
Pharmacy E-News Item: "SPECIALIST pharmacists dispensing crucial chemotherapy medications will become unviable if the Government goes ahead with a planned cut to cancer treatment subsidies.
One thing characterises pharmacy's dealings with government is that anything involving remuneration for services or supply of prescription items is never adequately met.
It may start off as being at a reasonable level but within a two-year time span it is chiselled down to a reimbursement approaching extortion, and quickly becomes marginal.
New methods of stripping pharmacy of any sort of financial return appear in the media on a very regular basis. There is never any let up.
Yet I don't see too many pharmacists driving around in Rolls Royces, more especially since the credit crunch has come upon us.
The latest casualty in the firing line are those pharmacists who have invested heavily in the dispensing of chemotherapy items for cancer patients.
According the the story below that was recently published in Pharmacy e-News, the government is going to only pay for the amount of chemotherapy agent used with the pharmacy having to absorb the cost of the remainder of the drug.
Given that all these drugs are high in price, losses of this nature are not sustainable.
Patients may have to pay privately for this type of dispensing, and few could afford it.
This creates a moral issue that needs to be resolved with a more sensible approach.
James Ellerson comments below.
The Guild national president Kos Sclavos said the fate of around 180 pharmacists hangs in the balance as a result of a Government plan to no longer pay for leftover amounts of chemotherapy drugs that had not been used by the patient.
Designed to reduce wastage, the policy is predicted to save the Government around $30 million a year.
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon told the ABC that the Government would delay the plan’s implementation by two months from its original start date of 1 July to allow more time for talks."
Pharmacy E-News Item:
"SPECIALIST pharmacists dispensing crucial chemotherapy medications will become unviable if the Government goes ahead with a planned cut to cancer treatment subsidies.