The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has undertaken a detailed audit of the development, negotiations and administration of the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, shining a light on critical areas of concern for the 20,000 employed pharmacists that work in the sector, the millions in the community that rely on the sector and the taxpayers that fund the sector.
The ANAO’s audit has found that the Department of Health and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) negotiated the $15.6 billion1 Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement, behind closed doors away from public scrutiny and with signs of significant irregularities.
After reading the ANAO’s findings, many community pharmacists feel that their profession, consumers and even the Government, has been betrayed by systems they had worked to and trusted. They feel their personal reputations have been damaged by the activities of those who represent pharmacy owners and the senior bureaucrats in the Department of Health.
This document poses a number of questions raised by the audit and outlines PPA’s formal requests in the wake of the audit. We have presented it to Government and Opposition MPs, the Department, and other key stakeholders.