The Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) is a five-year agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Guild), and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). The 7CPA commenced on 1 July 2020 and will continue until 30 June 2025.

Australian Government agencies are required to undertake a Post-Implementation Review (PIR) in a number of situations, including when regulations that have impacts on businesses, community organisations or individuals, are introduced without a sufficient Regulation Impact Statement (RIS).

A PIR is required to examine:

  • the problem the regulation was intended to address;
  • the objective of government action;
  • the impacts of the regulation; and
  • the effectiveness of the regulation in meeting its objectives.

The overall goal of a PIR is to assess whether the regulation remains appropriate, and how effective and efficient it has been in meeting its objectives.

A PIR of the Seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement (7CPA) is required because a RIS was not finalised by the Department of Health and Aged Care and assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) before the signing of the 7CPA on 11 June 2020. In accord with OBPR’s direction, the Department undertook to complete a PIR of the 7CPA within two years of its implementation. This PIR is thus limited to activities undertaken under the 7CPA prior to 1 July 2022.

The fundamental objective of the 7CPA is to ensure equitable access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidised medicines for all Australians. Further, the 7CPA aimed to improve on the 6CPA in terms of greater access to community pharmacy programs; improving support for regional, rural and remote pharmacies; and improving access to medicines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Significantly, the 7CPA is the first agreement with the community pharmacy sector to include the PSA as a co-signatory alongside the Commonwealth and the Guild.

The 7CPA provides for an overall funding envelope of $18.35 billion, comprising:

  • $16.00 billion in pharmacy remuneration for dispensing PBS subsidised medicines;
  • $1.20 billion for professional pharmacy programs; and
  • $1.15 billion for the Community Service Obligation and National Diabetes Services Scheme product distribution arrangements.

The 7CPA ensures all Australians will continue to have access to timely, safe, affordable, and life-saving medicines. It supports community pharmacy services to help achieve the best health outcomes for the Australian community. In the absence of Government intervention, the universal availability of PBS medicines and related services could not be assured, with those living in rural and remote areas most likely to experience distance barriers to access medicines through community pharmacies.

Supported by this Agreement, Australians are expected to access more than 200 million subsidised pharmaceutical prescriptions each year over the life of the Agreement. This PIR provides an overview of the context in which Community Pharmacy Agreements (CPAs) have developed over time and an analysis of the impacts of specific changes made by the 7CPA in respect of pharmacy remuneration, wholesale supply and distribution arrangements, new and amended Community Pharmacy Programs and related services and activities supported under the Agreement.

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