Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2014 Contents Discount Drug Stores (DDS) is another
group that has embraced professional
services. General Manager, Doug
Kuskopf, told Australian Pharmacist:
‘Providing professional services with the
pharmacist at the forefront is the most
distinguishing point of difference our brand.
‘ The pharmacist is consistently viewed by
the community as one of the most trusted
healthcare providers in the community and it
stands to reason that customers and patients
are receptive to more services being delivered by
DDS has a definite strategy in the services it
develops and implements. They are designed to
enhance the relationship its pharmacists have with
their customers and the community.
‘One of our main focusses is providing services to
improve patient adherence to medication. These
programs can have a positive health outcome for patients
but also increase the relationship between the patient
and their pharmacist which results in greater loyalty to the
business,’ Mr Kuskopf said.
‘ The other area we decided to focus on is providing clinics,
administered by nurse practitioners. The clinics we select to
run are mostly designed around early detection or awareness of
‘Our approach is to provide services that we believe are in the best
interests of our customers’ health or the interest of the broader
community, which means being integrated with GPs or other
healthcare providers. We trust that our customers will appreciate the
role of our pharmacist in caring for their total health care needs’.
Mr Layton said the biggest cost had been the investment in training,
both corporately and from the group’s pharmacies.
‘ This is essential so that our professional services can be delivered to a
consistently high standard. Today we are seeing growth in script numbers,
improved medication adherence, growing gross profits and greater
customer engagement. For the long term we are building a sustainable and
professionally rewarding business model, so I do believe that the return on
investment clearly exists.’
Mr Kuskopf agreed, saying: ‘There is a large expense in developing, trialling
and running professional services both in terms of the cost of programs and the
resources involved. To date, DDS as a brand has taken up the vast majority of these
costs because we believe they are important for our owners’ business.
‘ The programs we have in place focussing on patient adherence to medication have
been in development for three years and are now returning a measurable benefit for
our owners in terms of increased customer loyalty and sales. A number of years ago,
we created a professional services department which is headed up by two pharmacists
who are responsible for developing and running professional services. Our view is that
if professional services are to be delivered by pharmacists, they must be developed by
pharmacists who understand the role of pharmacist in store.’
Banner groups are not alone in developing and rolling out health services
and clinics. Generic medicines manufacturer Apotex has been developing
in-pharmacy clinics since 2009.
Apotex employs more than 70 registered nurses nationwide who
can run health awareness clinics for pharmacies and has developed
19 QCPP aligned ‘off the shelf’ health clinics that pharmacies and
banner groups can tap into and use towards the PPI program.
Most of the clinics have hands-on components for the consumer
to get involved during their one-on-one appointment with the
nurse. Each clinic follows a three step approach of education,
risk assessment and recommendation; be it lifestyle changes,
referrals to the pharmacist or other health care providers as
well as other services run by the pharmacy such as DAAs,
MedsChecks, HMRs, and/or product recommendation.
According to Barbara Bazarnik, Professional Services
Manager at Apotex, the company is running more than
2,000 clinics this year. Presently they are planning clinics
six months ahead with banner groups to tie in with
appropriate health weeks and days.
She said that the banner groups Apotex works with
were getting smarter and more efficient at planning
‘Uptake is phenomenal and growing. Apotex’s
aim is to provide a practical, quality, professional
tool that the pharmacy can use to improve and/
or augment its consumer offer and improve
health outcomes. The objective is for the
pharmacy to be the “hero” to their customers
and if the pharmacy is happy we are happy.
This reflects the professional direction that
pharmacy is taking,’ she said.
This year Apotex is running more than
750 flu vaccination clinics.
‘Apotex is always looking at innovative
and smart health solution options
to develop in order to support
community pharmacies to diversify
their professional offering to their
customers, and through these
services, to be recognised
as a leader and contributor
to community health,’
Ms Bazarnik said.
Australian Pharmacist June 2014 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
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