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New dispensing rules a bad prescription for the Outback

From left: Bourke Pharmacist John Rago is concerned about the impact of 60 day ispensing. Lightning Ridge Pharmacist Rhonda White sees no winners in 60-day dispensing. Brewarrina pharmacist. Brewarrina Pharmacist Moustafa Abourahma is also opposed to 60-day dispensing. Photos TWH

Changes to prescription dispensing, brought in by the Albanese government, have been widely condemned by local pharmacists, with claims the changes put pressure on businesses and patients-at-risk.

The changes mean that dispensing prescriptions have changed from 30 days to 60 days.

Following intense lobbying from industry, consumers and the Nationals, the government has agreed to get back to the negotiating table and to consider changing the policy following talks with the sector.

In the meantime, pharmacists in the far west of NSW have added their voices opposing the 60-day dispensing scheme.

Bourke pharmacist John Rago, and Rhonda White from White’s Pharmacy in Lightning Ridge, were both critical of the new regulations.

“We are really against it, and we believe it is not favourable to the business or to the customer,” Mr Rago said.

“When a customer comes in every month, we know what they are taking and how they are responding to their medication, but the 60-day dispensing means we don’t see them, and if anything changes in those 60 days between prescriptions, we won’t know.[…]

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