With legislation regarding price disclosure coming into effect today, the Department of Health and Ageing says pharmacies will not be impacted by the changes.
Queensland Senator Claire Moore asked the department why a proposal by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia to have the date for price disclosure pushed back to 1 February; because of difficulties caused by the busy Christmas period, had not gone ahead.
The department insisted pharmacy would not be adversely impacted by the changes.
“The 1 December date marks the commencement of the period in which pharmaceutical companies, not pharmacies, will begin collecting data about the prices at which they sell their drugs to pharmacies and wholesalers.
“That data is not required to be submitted to the department until mid-May 2011.
“The collection of data from 1 December does not change trading terms or prices in the 2010 pre-Christmas period because any price changes as a result of price disclosure will not take effect until 1 April 2012,” a spokesperson for the department said.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) president Warwick Plunkett had warned the profession was in line for a $6 billion “mauling” if price disclosure came into force, when speaking at the Pharmacy Australia Congress in October.
As reported in Pharmacy eNews the PSA president said; “The generics industry is totally convinced the suggested savings from price disclosure will be more like $6 billion and that’s based on its view of the current market in terms of competition levels between generic manufacturers and the discounts they’re giving to pharmacy.
“A lot of current blockbuster drugs are coming off patent and going into the generics market, which will increase competition and put discounts into pharmacists’ pockets.
“The end result of that is in about two years time price disclosure is going to cause a plummet in the prices of these products that pharmacies are going to pay for them and the discontinuance of the same level of discounts.”