Anger the tone as pharmacist workers rally outside and inside Parliament House

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Over 2,000 pharmacy workers gathered in Canberra yesterday to call for a pause in the Albanese Government's increase in dispensed quantities.

The workers from across Australia heard from pharmacy and political leaders, including shadow health minister Senator Anne Ruston and deputy Liberal Party leader and former health minister Sussan Ley.

The Truth Campaign Rally, organised by the Community and Pharmacy Support (CAPS) Group, follows a recent demonstration in Sydney.

Yesterday's rally follows the 1 September implementation of 60-day dispensed quantities for the first 92 PBS-listed medicines. The second and third tranche will be implemented on 1 April and 1 September 2024.

Late last week, the Pharmacy Guild agreed to suspend its campaign against the change after the Albanese Government agreed to negotiate a new Community Pharmacy Agreement to be implemented from 1 March next year.

A non-disclosure agreement now covers the negotiation.

The anger expressed outside Parliament House was carried into the building during Question Time, with rally participants interjecting several times, including as health minister Mark Butler responded to a question on 60-day dispensing. They were eventually asked to leave the gallery.