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Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement – Rural Pharmacy Programmes
What it doesThe five year Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement between the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild recognises the key role played by community pharmacy in primary health care through the delivery of PBS medicines and related services.
The Fifth Agreement started on 1 July 2010 and provides $15.6 billion over the life of the Agreement for around 5300 community pharmacies for dispensing PBS medicines, providing pharmacy programmes and services, and for the Community Service Obligation arrangements with pharmaceutical wholesalers.
The Rural Pharmacy Programmes are comprised of two components:
Rural Pharmacy Maintenance AllowanceEligible community pharmacies in rural and remote Australia can apply to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to get a monthly allowance in recognition of the extra costs associated with operating in these areas.
Under the Fifth Agreement, $70 million has been set aside for the Rural Pharmacy Maintenance Allowance.
Rural Pharmacy Workforce ProgramThis comprises a range of programmes that support the rural pharmacist workforce. Programmes include:
- scholarships and placement allowances;
- training allowances for rural pharmacy internships; and
- support for continuing professional education activities.
There is also an Emergency Locum Support Scheme to support the backfilling of pharmacists in emergency situations to ensure continued operation of rural pharmacies.
Under the Fifth Agreement, $37 million has been set aside for the Rural Pharmacy Workforce Programme.
What it achieves
These programmes aim to support access to PBS medicines for people in rural and remote areas, through supporting Australia’s rural and remote community pharmacy network and workforce.