The Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA) details the remuneration arrangements pharmacists receive for dispensing PBS and RPBS prescriptions agreed between the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
Indexation for various components of pharmacy remuneration typically occur in January and July each year, and otherwise as agreed between the Government and the Guild.
Members can access the current fact sheet for a summary of PBS co-payments and fees.
PBS prices change on a regular basis, based on variations to the underlying medicine costs and the remuneration structure for distribution. From a pharmacy owner perspective, it is important to monitor and plan for any price reductions and to order carefully as the time for price reductions approach so as to incorporate prospective changes as well as managing the ongoing dispensing needs of your patients.
One of the most significant changes to monitor is the reductions in price from Simplified Price Disclosure, resulting in major reductions every six months in April and October of each year.
For the April cycle, data is collected from 1 April to 30 September preceding and upcoming reductions are generally published mid to late December preceding.
For the October cycle, data is collected from 1 October to 31 March preceding and upcoming reductions are generally published mid to late June preceding.
Information for each period on drugs affected by Price Disclosure can be accessed from the PBS website's Price Disclosure (SPD) page.
As a condition to the 6CPA, the Government legislated in 2015 for the PBS Access and Sustainability Package. Included was a 5% Statutory Price Reduction (SPR) for F1 medicines. The SPR will be implemented for the first time on 1 April 2016 and applied each year of the 6CPA on 1 April. The SPR applies to all molecules listed on the PBS for five years or more, including new formulations and presentations listed for less than five years. Further information and the list of affected F1 drugs can be accessed from the PBS website's F1 5% Statutory Price Reduction on 1 April 2016 - List of Affected Drugs.
As part of the 6CPA agreed to by the Guild, PBS Price Changes (e.g. 16% reduction from a new brand entry) will occur every two months on 1 Feb, 1 Apr, 1 Jun, 1 Aug, 1 Oct and 1 Dec.
In addition, there may be monthly variations to the PBS with:
Members can access the monthly ‘Summary of Changes’ and most up to date information about PBS Price Changes and Schedule Variations from the PBS website.
Guild Members can also access upcoming price changes from the PBS Remuneration, Pricing and Schedule Variations page as well as an archive of price changes for reference.