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The Nationals help pharmacists obtain $3 billion in deal with Labor

The Nationals have successfully helped to obtain an extra $3 billion in funding for Australian
pharmacies, in a deal struck between pharmacists and the Labor Government, following
changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which included 60-day dispensing.
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said the ‘peace deal’ would help regional, rural
and remote communities and those set to be most impacted, with the funding to be given
over five years from July.
It comes after The Nationals protested and launched media blitz campaigns against Labor’s
doubling of prescription timeframes, which was announced in last year’s Budget.
Mr Littleproud said Labor’s ill thought-out changes to the PBS were always going to have
unintended consequences.
“The Nationals are pleased with this outcome, after standing shoulder to shoulder with our
regional, rural and remote pharmacists,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The Nationals are proud to back our regional pharmacists, which, in many cases, are the
last line for access to health and healthcare.
“The PBS changes were an example of the Labor Government’s failure to understand the
essential needs of every day regional Australians and the consequences of 60-day
dispensing.
“Labor did not think through the ramifications for regional, rural and remote Australia,
which leads to community pharmacies struggling to stock the medicine required.
“The Nationals will always fight for the needs of regional Australia, especially when it comes
to health.”
TerryWhite Chemmart Goondiwindi pharmacist Emma Leray said the deal was reassuring.
“I hope that there is an 8th Commonwealth Pharmacy Agreement finalised shortly so that
there is some security and service delivery in regional areas,” Ms Leray said.
“I will be a lot more reassured once I actually see it.”
Shadow Assistant Minister for Regional Health Dr Anne Webster said the extra funding was
a positive move after months of campaigning.
“This is another example of the Labor Government having no idea of the challenges facing
regional communities,” Dr Webster said.
“Without GPs and pharmacies, towns will struggle to survive. We need our local pharmacies
as an essential healthcare hub and welcome today’s announcement.”

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