10 January 2014
People in rural and remote Australia have relatively poor access to both medicines and professional pharmacy services. This Discussion Paper lays the groundwork for an authoritative review of the situation and the development of recommendations to improve it. It describes the complex system by which medicines and pharmacy services are made available to Australians and identifies inefficiencies, bottlenecks and administrative barriers that exist. This second version of the discussion paper adds clarifications and a glossary to version 1 of the discussion paper with the working title 'Supply of medicines and pharmacy services in rural and remote Australia' published 1 August 2013. These papers have been prepared to stimulate discussion on an issue of importance to rural and remote health. The views and opinions in the paper do not necessarily represent those of the National Rural Health Alliance or any of its Member Bodies. The Alliance is gathering further views and evidence to help us design the next steps in our work on safe and appropriate use of medicines and improved health outcomes for the people of rural and remote Australia.