The five year Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (Fifth Agreement) between the Australian Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (the Guild) commenced on 1 July 2010. It recognises the key role played by community pharmacy in primary health care through the delivery of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines and related services.
The Fifth Agreement provides $15.4 billion over the life of the Agreement for around 5000 community pharmacies for dispensing PBS medicines, providing pharmacy programs and services, and for the Community Service Obligation arrangements with pharmaceutical wholesalers. A commitment to maintaining location rules for approved pharmacies is also provided. The Fifth Agreement will result in a gross saving of $1 billion over five years against Commonwealth forward estimates.
The Fifth Agreement provides funding to retain services that enhance patient medication management including a focus on improving quality use of medicines by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The commitment to supporting rural pharmacies and the rural pharmacy workforce is maintained, and research will be commissioned on evidence-based best practice in quality pharmacy services. New programs will be introduced as part of a quality framework, with incentives available to accredited pharmacies under the new Pharmacy Practice Incentive and Accreditation Program based on the delivery of high quality patient services.
The Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement between the Commonwealth Government and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia was signed on 3 May 2010 and covers the period 1 July 2010 to 30 June 2015.