NPSA hails CSO changes
THE National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA) says the new guidelines for the Community Service Obligation funding pool (PD Mon) will uphold the intent of National Medicine Policy while providing certainty for wholesalers, pharmacies and ultimately patients.
NPSA Chairman Mark Hooper from Sigma Pharmaceuticals hailed the announcement by AstraZeneca to transition away from exclusivedirect arrangements from 01 Feb 2019 (PD yesterday), saying it was good news for patients because it means pharmacies can stock medicines from more than one supplier.
“However we still have some concerns about the impact of exclusive-direct arrangements on the sustainability of the CSO model,” Hooper added.
Currently Pfizer and Amgen maintain direct distribution into pharmacies, but the updated CSO Deeds note that medicines subject to exclusive direct deals will not attract CSO payments.
The new Deeds prohibit new exclusive direct supply arrangements after 2020, and Hooper welcomed the arrangements for the CSO pool which supports wholesalers in meeting high regulatory standards such as the distribution of all PBS products to pharmacies - including low-volume and low-value medicines - and the distribution of the full PBS range to rural and remote postcodes, generally within 24 hours, Hooper said.
“The CSO isn’t allowing individual companies to gain more control of the market...it’s about securing a supply chain that works in patients’ best interests.
“That means ensuring all PBSlisted medicines are available to all CSO distributors at equivalent pricing,” the NPSA Chairman said.
He said the Association continued to work with Government and the Department of Health “towards ensuring all aspects of patient access to PBS medicines regulated to consistent, high standards”.
NPSA members include Sigma, Symbion, API and National Pharmacies.