Regional pharmacists are pushing back against the 60-day dispensing proposal that would allow customers to buy two months worth of medicine at a time. As part of the Federal Government’s plan to help with the cost-of-living pressures, customers would be able to buy two scripts worth for the cost of one prescription. Paul Buise, owner and operator of Pharmacy 194 and Rangeway Guardian Pharmacy, said the policy could result in a 50 per cent income loss. “The dispensing fee is paid to the pharmacy to cover the cost of the logistics of ordering, storing, monitoring its expiry, picking it off the shelf, processing a prescription, making sure it’s legal, it has the right directions on it, making sure it’s appropriate for the patient, counselling the patient on that medication — we get about $7.30 for that,” he said. Malcolm Chen from Shark Bay Pharmacy said this would be detrimental to rural pharmacies and put client health at risk. “In remote areas where there’s already shortage of healthcare services, I think risking the loss of a pharmacy is going to put people’s healthcare at a greater risk. . .we are about 350km to the next closet pharmacy,” he said. “I’ve got no doubt in my mind that having double the amount of medication at home will put patients who might be slightly confused about it, at a greater risk of overdosing.” The local pharmacists say that all it would take is a visit to see how frail the pharmacies can be. “The Government has said that they have consulted with experts. . . but the experts are talking about the safety side of things and not being involved with the everyday community pharmacy” Mr Chen said. Mr Buise added: “The Government started with an end goal but there was simply no due diligence to get to that goal.” If it goes through the plan will come into effect on September 1.