Pharmacy prices are set to rise significantly across the country this year, but they’ll be cheaper than last year when prices were set to increase by more than 20%.
That’s because the Abbott government introduced the National Pharmacy Pricing Scheme in April and has introduced several other measures to reduce costs for small businesses.
Pharmacy visits are likely to increase again next year.
The Abbott government has also been introducing an alternative pricing scheme for consumers and businesses, and has promised to introduce a national pharmacy levy, which would cover the cost of buying a prescription.
Pharmacists are already being charged for filling prescriptions.
However, as the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown, many pharmacies don’t have the capacity to cope with the rising demand.
Some small businesses will be forced to shut down, or have to pay more for supplies and services, as prices rise.
This is due to a variety of factors including higher supply and lower demand.
If the price of a prescription does go up, that’s not the only cost that will rise, says Mark O’Donnell, an analyst at ANZ Bank.
“The increase will also increase the cost to consumers, as more of the supply is likely to be cut off,” he says.
The rise in prices will also be felt in smaller businesses, he says, as fewer people are likely have the money to buy a prescription for the same medication.
Small businesses that don’t make the cut will be particularly affected, as they have little control over what they buy.
“The smaller the business, the more of their cost is going to be impacted by the increase in prices, so they will need to make up the shortfall,” Mr O’Connor says.
The rise in price is expected to make some small businesses pay more in tax.
Some small businesses have also been hit by the government’s changes to the Medicare levy, including a 10 per cent surcharge for all patients over $100,000, which is now being rolled out across the board.
This will make it harder for some small business owners to cope financially.
Another potential cost is higher costs for Medicare patients to get the medication they need.
Currently, Medicare pays for about half of the cost, with the rest coming from private insurers and the Medicare Benefits Schedule.
This change will make that contribution more difficult.
If you need help with your drug costs, visit the ABC’s online pharmacy advice and support service.
This is a breaking news story.
Please check back for updates.