Health officials under attack over PBS deal


28 August 2015 - Health officials have been savaged over the failure to adequately ­account for the payment of $14 billion­ to pharmacists, with a parliamentary committee hearing that just one page documented nego­tiations around the ­nation’s medi­cines supply chain deal.

The five-year deal, which was struck under the former Labor federal government, provided for the payment of more than 5400 pharmacies for their role in dispensing Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme-listed medicines.

But the arrangement between the government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has been widely panned for its lack of transparency and accountability, ­potential conflicts of interest ­regarding the guild’s dual roles as an administrator and beneficiary of funds, and its failure to ­deliver promised savings to the ­national health budget. A damning report was released by the Australian Nationa­l Audit ­Office in March.

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Michael Wonder

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Michael Wonder

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Australia , PBS , Pharmacy