Pharmacy guild says changes will only benefit govt

PENSIONERS collecting their prescriptions at pharmacies can access discounts of up to $1 per script after changes that took effect on January 1.

The reforms mean some pensioners will be able to pay $5.20 instead of the standard $6.20 for their PBS scripts.

However Pharmacy Guild of Australia executive director David Quilty said the measure would have little net benefit for pensioners and mean big savings for the government, which has estimated it will save $373 million over four years.

He said the change would mean concession card holders whose pharmacies offer them the discount will not hit the $372 free medicine threshold until later in the year, effectively leaving pharmacists to absorb the cost.

Businesses processing an average number of scripts could lose up to $40,000 a year as a result of the measure.

Federal Minister for Health Sussan Ley said pensioners, who represented about 80% of scripts filled, could save up to $70 each year.

Ms Ley said the PBS threshold would remain at $372 for concessional patients and $1475.70 for general patients.



Firefighters are once again protecting homes

Firefighters are once again protecting homes

The fire had burnt 255 hectares before jumping road

Rain, when and where will it fall?: BoM forecaster

premium_icon Rain, when and where will it fall?: BoM forecaster

Some towns could receive up to 80mm of rainfall this week

Motorbike rider killed after crash at Alstonville

Motorbike rider killed after crash at Alstonville

39-year-old man suffered critical injuries and died at the scene

Local Partners