Pharmacy jobs at risk

Rockingham Medical Pharmacy store manager Keegan Wong and owner Joseph Ranallo. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d406271
Rockingham Medical Pharmacy store manager Keegan Wong and owner Joseph Ranallo. Picture: Jon Hewson www.communitypix.com.au d406271

The government Economic Statement, released this month, revealed changes to the pricing of medicines under the PBS from mid-2014.

Rockingham Medical Pharmacy owner Joseph Ranallo said the cuts meant community pharmacies would receive reduced funds to purchase medicines, with $90,000 predicted to be lost from business earnings in the 2013-14 financial year.

Mr Ranallo said a national petition was the only option pharmacists had at persuading the government to return to its original agreement.

‘The latest proposed cuts to our funding were hidden in the May budget, which is an extraordinary act that only occurs for national security reasons,’ he said.

‘The biggest lie is that the consumer will save because there will be minimal, if any, savings to the consumer as the PBS prices for all claimable medications are set.

‘As a pharmacy owner I am very concerned because if this does go ahead, it will mean job cuts and a reduction in opening hours.’

Brand MHR Gary Gray told the Courier if pharmacies were to drop the prices for medicines, it was only fair the government did the same thing.

‘It would mean that patients pay less for some medicines too,’ he said.