Senate to vote on the disallowance of dispensing change today

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The Senate will vote today on whether to disallow the plan to double dispensed prescription quantities for over 300 PBS-listed medicine.

The Coalition announced yesterday that it would move to disallow the change unless the Albanese Government committed to delay its 1 September implementation pending the negotiation of a new Community Pharmacy Agreement.

Health minister Mark Butler has announced a plan to bring forward the negotiation of the agreement but will not delay implementation.

He spent much of last night directly engaging with the few crossbench senators who will decide the fate of the Coalition's disallowance of maximum dispensed quantities.

The Greens have already confirmed their intention to oppose disallowance. However, it could pass with the support of other minor parties and crossbench senators.

One Nation and independent senator David Van are backing the disallowance motion. The position of Senator Tammy Tyrrell and Senator David Pocock, who have both criticised the policy, is unclear. The Coalition will also require the backing of Senator Jacqui Lambie and Senator Lidia Thorpe.

The Pharmacy Guild met with senators last evening and is expected to renew its efforts this morning before the vote.

Mr Butler has also directly engaged with crossbench senators to discourage them from supporting the disallowance motion.

The outcome remains unclear, but most expect support for disallowance to fall just short of the required majority.