Pharmacies need certainty

On 13 May 2015, Terri made a brief statement about community pharmacy businesses' need for certainty.

Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (13:54): Last week, it was a real pleasure to catch up for a cup of coffee with one of my local community pharmacists, Russell Harding. Russell runs Harding's Pharmacy in Annerley, in my electorate of Griffith in Queensland. It is a great community pharmacy—it is open late hours and is relied on by a lot of people in the community. The provide some really great services. There is a wonderful young woman by the name of Amy who is always involved in community outreach and liaison, and who helps to make the pharmacy the best community service that it can be. They do things like fill medical dosage packs for elderly customers and have low-cost seniors access to diabetes assistance. All of those things they see as part of their business in being part of the community. They, like most small businesses, want to be really great community citizens as well as to make a decent living from their small business.

Like everyone, they would like to have some certainty around what is in the future for their business. They would like to know what prices are going to be like. A lot of that is affected by the sort of government assistance that people receive in respect of their medication. So many community pharmacists have contacted me to say that this government is really dragging the chain in getting back to them around Community Pharmacy Agreement negotiations. I know we have all had those communications from pharmacists in our electorates. It really worries me that this government seems to be unable to understand that businesses need certainty and that means that contracts need to be renewed well in advance so that staff and customers do not have to be uncertain.

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