Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2013 Contents 10 Australian Pharmacist May 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Brendan Shaw, Chief Executive of
Medicines Australia, said he was
heartened by statements from the
Minister for Health reaffirming her
support for the PBS.
'However, in my view there are two
models for the PBS,' he said. 'The first is a
regulated and consultative system where
all stakeholders have a say and where
consumers have a choice.
'The second is an ad hoc, piecemeal
system that keeps changing and doesn't
look to the future. That is the sort of
system we are seeing in Europe at present
with medicine shortages and huge
queues at pharmacies.'
Professional services a
can do something
managing director of Willach Australia,
John Koot, told APP delegates.
Mr Koot said professional services were
not a fad or trend and now were critical
for pharmacies to compete in an ever
increasingly competitive environment.
He emphasised that planning for the
implementation of professional services
was a vital part of the process.
'Do not make the mistake of believing
you can be a price leader if you're not also
a cost leader,' he said.
'The only way you can be the price setter
is if you are the lowest cost producer.
There is no other way to do it.'
He also warned that pharmacies needed
to decide what they wanted to be -- retail
outlets, pharmacies or supermarkets --
but warned that whatever direction a
pharmacy took, customer satisfaction was
the main driver.
'We surveyed 20,000 people recently and
what we found is that the things that
are the most important to them are the
things we do worst,' he said. 'A dissatisfied
Mixed views of future at APP
Mixed views as to what the future holds
for the profession were given at the
Pharmacy Guild's Australian Pharmacy
Professional (APP) conference 2013.
However, the overall theme was one of
hard times ahead.
The State of the Industry symposium
was addressed by a number of industry
leaders including Andy Jackson,
General Manager of IMS Health Australia,
who predicted that original brands would
collapse in the next 12 months with the
expiration of patent deadlines looming.
'This can be avoided with extensions or
delivery modifications,' he said. 'Also we
need innovation to protect the brands.'
Mr Jackson warned that lawyers
would be having a field day with more
aggressive IP challenges being mounted.
However, he emphasised all was not
gloomy with pharma sales tipped to rise
by nearly $300 billion by 2016.
Mr Jackson also said generic penetration
was increasing, a fact supported by
Martin Cross of the Generic Medicines
Industry Association, who said pharmacists
had enjoyed a good year and could look
forward to a not-too-bad year ahead.
Mr Cross said generics were popular
with governments because of their very
favourable volume to cost ratio.
'In Australia generics have 35.4% of
the volume but they account for only
12.4% of the cost,' he said.
'That's why they are always in the
Despite this, price disclosure had resulted
in a 22% net decrease in the generic
market and this would need to be
countered by pharmacists responding
innovatively to the changed market.
'The situation at present is pretty good so
make the money while you can,' he said.
'The reality is that beyond 2014 the future
Mr Cross said the generic market had the
potential for great growth, as evidenced
by its market share in the United States.
'In the US, generics account for 85% of the
market and there is no reason that can't
customer tells 10 people about their
'But we are following global trends and
we absolutely have to adapt to change
what we are doing.'
Mr Koot said the Pareto principle applied
to pharmacy in that 80% of profits came
from 20% of space or effort.
'That makes sense because historically
we have made so much money out of
that area of pharmacy we now expect
it -- but guess what? All of a sudden that
ability to make money is now under
pressure,' Mr Koot said.
'If you include your middle store that
figure is likely to be 100% of profits so
the dispensing and middle store account
for all your profits.
'So you have to do your services at front
of store better. So how can you become
a healthy destination? How do you
become that player who strands out
from the crowd?
'The first step in expanding dispensing
to include patient care is to provide the
pharmacist with time.'
Mr Koot said too often pharmacists
were stuck behind the counter
dispensing, and to avoid this the process
of dispensing had to be examined
'Have script preparation done as much
as possible by a technician if you can.
It's a logistics function and then the
pharmacist is in control of the service
provision and counselling,' he said.
'Once you start to think about that you
can all of a sudden start dividing not
only your resources as far as real estate is
concerned within the pharmacy, but also
you can start moving your resources
around as far as people are concerned.'
However, one of the big myths about
improving dispensary operations and work
flow was that the solution lay in addressing
labour. But if pharmacists could improve
their medication storage and work flow
to use the resources they have freed up
to counsel and interact with customers,
their average retail sales would jump.
'But you can't do any of this without the
right foundation. Do not try to start any
of this without getting your foundation
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