Publication Date 01/04/2014         Volume. 6 No. 3   
Information to Pharmacists


From the desk of the editor

Business is tight!
Cash flow has evaporated!
The PGA calls for unity while simultaneously dismembering the business of consultant pharmacists.
The federal government continues to strip massive funds from the PBS to the extent that it is gasping for air.
Oh, and I forgot, the Revive Clinic thinks that pharmacists cannot vaccinate patients in community pharmacies ( It is actually a warehouse pharmacy group trying to destabilise the market here to push fellow-pharmacists off balance by supporting the Revive group).
Even wage-earning pharmacists have discovered that they have not had a rise in their pay over the past five years

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The Indigenous PBS List - Who Benefits?

Rollo Manning

articles by this author...

Rollo Manning has experienced pharmacy practice from all sectors of the industry – retail, administrative, policy and remote Aboriginal practice. He spent 10 years with Glaxo Australia and was the first Director of Public Relations at the Pharmacy Guild National Secretariat in Canberra.
He has also held the position of Pharmacy Policy Officer for Territory Health Services in Darwin.
Rollo is currently a Consultant working in his own practice with remote Aboriginal communities, in Northern Australia.

There are times when one cannot help but wonder who is advising who when it comes to pharmacy and the government.
The much applauded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) list for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia is a good example of failed program arising from a well meaning policy.
Look at it closely and see that all items are available WITHOUT a doctor’s prescription, therefore available over the counter of a pharmacy and could be paid for by the health service to which the patient is attending.

No doubt before the list came about cost was a reason why patients may have not been placed on treatment. By putting these items onto a “PBS” list it means the PBS will pay – but at what price?

The following table shows the PBS price to pharmacy supplying and the price at which the items could have been purchased if bought through an Internet pharmacy and no doubt closer to the price at “discount” pharmacies.

The outcome of this program is that Aboriginal patients are able to obtain the medication but at double the cost to the PBS as it would cost if the Aboriginal health service had been able to supply the product directly to the patient.

Too many solutions to perceived problems are in the category of “band aids” to fix a wound without addressing why the wound happened in the first place.

In this instance it is quite simply that Aboriginal Health Services should be able to buy in their own pharmacy supplies and dispense these from an area of the premises that is known as “the pharmacy”.

The fact this does not, and many would say cannot, happen is because the pharmacists currently owning control of the supply function are vehemently guarding their patch and do not want any intruders purely for commercial reasons.

It is time we all matured to a point of putting the patient and health service ahead of vested pharmacy interests and assisted Aboriginal health services to make their dollar go further.
An additional grant to the AHS from the PBS would allow these products to be bought in at a wholesale price and save half of what it is costing now.

In Aboriginal health, as in many other instances of primary health care, pharmacists can offer a lot but this will not happen when personal financial gain is put ahead of improving health.

The slogan Aboriginal health and pharmacists wealth does not mix is true again.

The other sad aspect of this example is that it displays the need for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health to be in the hands of a single agency in its entirety and not having to slot into the numerous silos that make up mainstream policy and program planning.

Given a single agency pharmacy as a whole would be looked at in terms of assisting Aboriginal clients. At present the policies are divided into supply, ownership, professional services and availability of benefits. Some of these are covered by Commonwealth legislation and others by State/Territory based regulation making the task even harder.

For further information contact the author
Rollo Manning, PO Box 98 Parap NT 0804
Tel: 08 8942 2101 or 0411 049 872


PBS List for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients




PBS Price

Internet Pharmacy price

8066M Bifonazole, Cream 10 mg per g (1%), 15 g (Mycospor)






1027C Clotrimazole, Lotion 10 mg per mL (1%), 20 mL (Canesten)






9024Y Ketoconazole, Cream 20 mg per g (2%), 30 g (Nizoral 2% Cream)






9025B Ketoconazole, Shampoo 10 mg per g (1%), 100 mL (Nizoral 1%)






1574W Ketoconazole, Shampoo 20 mg per g (2%), 60 mL (Nizoral 2%)






9026C Miconazole nitrate, Cream 20 mg per g (2%), 15 g (Daktarin)






9027D Miconazole nitrate, Cream 20 mg per g (2%), 30 g (Daktarin)






9028E Miconazole nitrate, Cream 20 mg per g (2%), 70 g (Daktarin)






9029F Miconazole nitrate, Powder 20 mg per g (2%), 30 g (Daktarin)






9030G Miconazole nitrate, Lotion 20 mg per mL (2%), 30 g (Daktarin)






9031H Miconazole, Tincture 20 mg per mL (2%), 30 mL (Daktarin)






1698J Nystatin, Cream 100,000 units per g, 15 g  (Mycostatin)






9160D Terbinafine hydrochloride, Cream 10 mg per g (1%), 15 g (Lamisil)








































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