So the Govt are trying to put through some changes to the PBS. I read a little about it recently here: http://www.news.com.au/money/cost-of-living/chemists-want-higher-medicine-costs-greater-profits/story-fnagkbpv-1226700217513
I asked the wife, who is in allied health, what she knew about it, but she plead ignorance. It sounds to me like, amongst other things, pharmacies get a fixed price for a given medication, and whether they actually dispense the generic or the non-generic is irrelevant. Basically, it seems to me like the pharmacy makes considerably more on the generics than the non-generic, whilst we pay only a very small difference.
Can anyone provide a bit more info on it? It seems like a reasonable change to me - a good change actually, but I'd like to know more.
Now, the story...
Today I went to the pharmacy. I have a long dislike of pharmacists. Sure, they have an important role, but the fact they double as snake oil salesmen with a lot of their products, and play the "trust" angle to get you to buy said snake oil really doesn't sit well with me. The number of products they sell that are proven ineffective, yet they still promote them to the naive suckers, is disgraceful. Then there is the third degree I get when I just want some Nurofen Plus - I don't know why, but I can't buy it without them questioning me for 5 minutes. It's not like I look like a junkie FFS! And the fact it takes them 20 minutes to pull a box off a shelf... Sorry, I'm ranting here, but I really think a lot have a lot to answer for... (Not all - there are good pharmacists out there, and the role of pharmacists is very important)
So I currently have gastro (yay!) and was attempting to fill a prescription. The pharmacist gives me my gear, then i head to the checkout to pay. The following ensues (P = pharmacist checkout chick, Z = me). Keep in mind I'm NOT well. Major pain problems from an ongoing case of meningitis (reasonably mild, thankfully), plus the new issue of gastro...
P: Would you like to sign this petition?
I look at the petition. It says the government are changing PBS and that will put them out of business. It doesn't actually say what the changes are - no facts, just "we'll be out of business"
Z: Um, actually I read a little about this and have been meaning to find out more - i'm not sure where I sit on it
P: Well, basically, the changes to the PBS will put us out of business
Z: Yeah, the petition says that - it doesn't say why. I'd prefer to know what I'm signing
P: So you want us to go out of business?
Z: No, I didn'-
At this point she interrupts me
P: If you don't sign it, we'll go out of business
Z: Yes, you said that, but you haven't told me why
P: We'll be gone! Only the big pharmacies will be left, then what do you do? They'll up their prices!
Z: Look, I don't know enough about this issue to sign a petition
At this point my constitution is wearing down. The ladies face is going bright red, and she is genuinely angry with me
P: So, you'll be happy to watch us close down? You'll be happy to see me lose my job?
Z: Look, I just want to get my medication and go please
P: The Labor government got us into this debt you know. They couldn't control their spending, and now they are going to close down all the small pharmacies, and YOU will have to pay more for medication, and you're just happy to let that happen!?
Z: Please, I can I have my change?
P: Fine. You probably won't see us again you know, we'll be shut down, and you don't care!
Z: OK, have a nice day
DEAD SET SERIOUS. I copped abuse, when I was ■■■■■■■ sick, from some nut job because I wouldn't sign a petition about an issue that I don't know enough about to decide where I sit. I know that many people just sign petitions because it's easier than saying "no", and I don't have a problem with that. But abusing someone because they won't just blindly sign something is unacceptable.