Taking to the streets to pause 60DD

Article originally appeared on Pharmacy Daily

CLOSE to 2,000 pharmacists, students, interns, and customers took to the Sydney streets yesterday, for a ‘Walk for Awareness’ to rally against the Labor Government’s 60-Day Dispensing (60DD) policy.

Organised by the independent Community and Pharmacy Support Group (CAPS), the rally began at Town Hall Square in Sydney in what the group called a truth campaign, with a chant to ask the Government to ‘pause, pause for our cause’ and hear their voices (PD 10 Aug).

Following on from speeches, the group made their way to Martin Place.

After hearing directly from pharmacists, interns and customers, Deputy Opposition Leader Sussan Ley (pictured below right) reinforced her support for the independent group and stated that the Labor Government must guarantee no pharmacy will close and no one will be worse off due to 60DD.

Shadow Minister for NSW Health Matt Kean followed Ley, thanking pharmacists for all they do in the community, “year in and year out”, and said he is standing by them to find a better way to reduce the cost of medicine.

“I’m not here just to say thank you for what you did during COVID; I want to say thank you for what you do, every day, year in and year out, to help communities across our country,” said Kean.

“Who supports my family through coughs and colds, fevers and flu?

“It’s you, our pharmacists.”

Speaking exclusively with Pharmacy Daily CAPS spokesperson and independent pharmacy owner Adele Tahan (pictured below left) said, “today was about making sure the Government starts listening”.

“Pause the 60DD and sit down and consult with pharmacies on an agreement that will ensure that no patient will be worse off, and no pharmacy will be worse off,” said Tahan.

The CAPS group aims to educate the public about how independent pharmacies will be affected by the new 60DD policy, stating that a 40% reduction in gross profit will make many pharmacies insolvent.

The impact would mean all pharmacies are unviable until some close and others pick up the volume, essentially making it survival of the fittest, CAPS stated.

The measures will not help with the cost of living.

They will benefit very few community members who may be middle to higher-income earners, accessing one to three prescription medicines, it added.

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