The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand Tuesday 26 June 2012, 11:11AM
The Pharmacy Services Agreement (PSA) is the contract between
pharmacy owners and their local District Health Board (DHB). It has
been consulted on with the DHBs and sector agents, including the
Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild), over the last 18 months
and holds the biggest change in services and funding the profession
has had in over 50 years.
On 1 July 2012, community pharmacy will begin a three year
transitional PSA which intends to move pharmacy from being paid
solely by a medicine dispensing fee, to a patient-focused payment
mechanism. This will align the profession more closely within the
primary health care team. The transitional PSA is a reconfiguration
of services around patients' medicine management and better
utilises pharmacists as the medicines experts.
"The Guild supports the PSA and the ability of all parties involved
to work together to ensure its successful implementation," says the
Guild's Executive Chair, Karen Crisp. "We agree that some
pharmacists have not yet got enough information to fully understand
the Agreement and we are working hard with the DHBs to get this
information to our members."
After raising concerns over tight timeframes and a lack of
information on the new service and funding model, community
pharmacists have been given three options to consider by their DHB
when signing their PSA. Some pharmacists have returned their signed
Pharmacists have until 5pm today to signal to their DHB that they
are going to sign and return the Agreement by 13 July. If they need
longer to meet with their DHB to negotiate funding details specific
to their pharmacy (Part P), they have until 23 July to sign.
As this PSA is transitional, it will rely on inaugural operational
and governance groups to make changes where they are necessary over
this three year transitional Agreement period. These groups will
oversee the new PSA and work to ensure its success.
"This Agreement provides an opportunity for community pharmacists
to be recognised for working more closely with patients who can
benefit from their pharmacist's knowledge and skills," says Mrs
Crisp. "New IT developments also mean there will be an opportunity
for better collaboration between prescribers and pharmacy. This is
good news for patients."
Changes to the PSA include the following:
implementation on 1 February 2013 of more structure to help support
patients with long term conditions (LTC) to manage their
· LTC patients
having difficulty managing their medicines will need to register
with a pharmacy to receive extra support to manage their
· There will be no
change to services for acute patients (those who need medicines
episodically or regularly but are able to manage their medicines
without extra help).
The Guild and the DHBs are developing patient and sector
information to be distributed throughout the country. The Guild
will also be developing member-only tools to ensure its members are
armed for the change and are equipped to provide quality health
care to their communities.
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