Media Release dt 08/08/2023

Australian Patients Association calls on Albanese Government to briefly pause 60-day dispensing

The Australian Patients Association today urged the Albanese Government to align the implementation of 60-day dispensing with Community Pharmacy Agreements, to ensure no one is worse off under the new system.

APA CEO David Clarke said “We continue to support 60-day dispensing so that Australians can have more streamlined access to their various medications However, we remain concerned about the impacts on community pharmacies, and the possible impacts they claim. If pharmacies are forced to close – especially regional or rural pharmacies – the impact on Australians will be the opposite of what was intended. Access to medicines in some areas could potentially be more difficult”.

Mr Clarke called on the government, which is due to complete the 8th Community Pharmacy Agreement with Australian pharmacies in 2025, to bring forward that agreement immediately to help resolve the concerns that Pharmacies have raised.

“The Community Pharmacy Agreement sets the terms under which Pharmacies operate and receive government support for their healthcare role, and contains issues that are material to the healthcare function of Pharmacies. The changes to 60-day dispensing have a material effect on Pharmacies.  With a short pause in the implementation of 60-day dispensing and early completion of the agreement, we can all be more confident that 60-day dispensing doesn’t cause unexpected closures of pharmacies” he said.

APA Health Ambassador Dr Nick Coatsworth said “This is particularly important in rural and regional areas of Australia, where the Pharmacy is a critical part of smaller communities” he said.

“This policy will be with us for years to come. Ensuring the concerns of Pharmacies are considered in the Community Pharmacy Agreement, is a straightforward way of ensuring we get it right the first time” Dr Coatsworth said.


For further information contact:

David Clarke, CEO APA on 0416 156 923 Email:

Dr Nick Coatsworth on 0417 610483 Email:


The APA is the voice of and for Australian patients. We provide support, and information to patients, and advocate on their behalf to make positive change in the healthcare system.

Hearing the patients voice and their lived experience is what drives our agenda, including campaigns and lobbying activity.