COSBOA urges consultation on the announced prescription changes for specific products. Feedback from small business members of the Pharmacy Guild highlights concerns about the proposal's potential negative impacts on both small business pharmacies and their local communities, such as reduced revenue, pressure to maintain extended hours, and potential medicine shortages.
We call for a suitable transition period, enabling pharmacies to adapt business models and ensuring sufficient pharmaceutical stock to prevent consumer shortages, which could lead to delays in access to essential medications.
Small business pharmacies seek collaboration with the Government and the Community as they reassess staffing and opening hours. With decreasing revenue, operating expenses must be adjusted. Fixed costs, like rent, remain unchanged, necessitating strategic planning for continued dispensing services.
Concerns have been raised about medicine suppliers' ability to ensure adequate stock for consumers. As an alternative, the Government could consider reducing consumer co-payments for each script.
Initially, the proposal seems to expect small business pharmacies to fund consumer cost-of-living savings. COSBOA requests a clear implementation plan with adequate transition time and support for small business pharmacies and encourages the Government to explore alternative solutions to relieve pressure on these businesses and safeguard consumer interests.