Tag Archive: community

Protesting & Community Respect

Posted on November 6, 2019
by Phil Grant

2 min read

There has been a lot of media coverage lately in regards to climate change ambassadors protesting both in Australia and around the world. While this is a very large and important issue and while I believe everybody should stand up for what they believe in, protests have the potential to go too far. I think the recent protest activities have gone too far in a number of areas.

Workplace Disruption

The sight of protestors physically blocking and pushing individuals from entering their workplace was terrible. It is one thing to stand and let your voice be heard or your sign be shown, but physically pushing somebody trying to enter their workplace is going way too far.

Community Impact

The disruption caused to people going about their everyday lives, whether that be going to work, going to a medical appointment, or even going to meet family or friends was also going too far. Protestors blocking streets in different forms and causing delays to traffic, public transport and emergency vehicles is not right nor fair. These people affected may or may not agree with the protests, but to get dragged involuntarily into the protests and be absolutely inconvenienced again is not right nor fair.

Public Service Resources

Not only have the protests disrupted many people, they have also used a huge amount of public service resources when they could/should be used in other areas. The cost of these services during the protests is huge and it is paid for by the taxpayer, you and me.

When there is a sporting, music or other public event on, the organisers of those events are required to pay for public service resources such as police and medical emergency. I wonder how many of these protestors would dip their hands into their own pockets if they had to pay for such services for the privilege of attending these protests?

Protest Respectfully

So if you are planning a protest about an issue that is close to your heart, by all means do that and shout as loud as you can, but please use your common sense and be mindful and considerate of others in the community. Funnily enough, a respectful protest is likely to garner a much more favourable outcome and increased community support. I know which direction I’d take.

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2019 APP Conference Wrap Up

Posted on April 8, 2019
by Phil Grant

I recently attended the 2019 APP Conference on the Gold Coast to both keep up-to-date with what is happening within the industry and to get a feel for the future direction of the industry.

There was a selection of both local and international speakers that represented different sections of the pharmacy industry, ranging from the Federal Minister for Health, leaders of the Pharmacy Guild, pharmacy leaders from around the world, wholesaler leaders, futurists and individual pharmacists.

All were generally informative and thankfully, sometimes even entertaining.

Key Takes

Following are some of the main points that came out from the APP Conference.

  • The Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt stated the following:
    • Although there is going to be continuing pressure to reduce the cost of medications, the government is releasing an additional $200m for AHI fees through to 2023;
    • There will be no changes to the locations rules under his tenure;
    • There will be no federal licences given to supermarket chains under his tenure.
  • Interestingly the shadow Minister for Health Catherine King stressed that her government will ‘look at’ continuing the current location rules, but also mentioned several times her government will look to continually reduce the cost of medicines to the public.
  • It is clear the government is moving pharmacists toward providing more and more professional or clinical services, and is providing more funding to do so. I think the key here is to make sure these services are performed efficiently so they are profitable;
  • In relation to this, pharmacies will be required to have more consulting rooms or consulting areas going forward;
  • PBS payments are to be received by the pharmacist between 2 to 9 days after a claim is made for most payments, reducing the current processing time of between 9 to 16 days (which will enhance the pharmacy’s cashflow);
  • E-prescribing is going to be fully rolled out in the near future (currently 80% of scripts are going through as E-scripts);
  • All of the recipients of ‘Pharmacy of the Year’ awards mentioned they engaged greatly in the community and worked with other health professionals in order to grow their business.

It’s certainly going to be an interesting year for the pharmacy industry with the Federal election coming up, which may include a change in government. Plus the 7th CPA is due to be completed by July 2020, for which talks between the Guild and the Government have already begun.

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Understanding your Pharmacy Market & Service Offerings

Posted on November 1, 2018
by Phil Grant
It’s no secret that the pharmacy industry has experienced significant change in the last few years which has certainly put greater pressure on pharmacy owners to make their business firstly viable, and secondly profitable.

Before you look at issues within your business such as pricing, purchases, wages etc, you need to think about and understand the market you are targeting, and therefore the service offerings to your customers.

I broadly categorise the pharmacy market into two main groups, the first being community pharmacies and the second being pharmacy discounters.

So what distinguishes these two groups, and how does it affect their service offerings to customers?

Community Pharmacies

Community pharmacies generally focus on offering extensive advice along with the medication/product their customer is purchasing.

The majority of the pharmacy sales come from their dispensary (on average around 80-85%), and with that comes personal advice from the pharmacist in regards to the particular medication being dispensed.

Front of shop sales make the remaining total sales, which may or may not require the same amount of advice given by the pharmacist.

Due to this sales mix, ie. majority of sales from the dispensary, generally the shop size is not required to be too big.

Further it is more likely that a community pharmacy will offer their customers additional professional services such as Home Medication Reviews (HMRs), Dose Administration Aids (DAA), flu vaccine shots and personal counselling.

Pharmacy Discounters

Generally these pharmacies focus more on sale of product, and as such their front of shop sales are greater than their dispensary sales.

There will be much more product for sale in these pharmacies, and generally I see these pharmacies as being a ‘quick in and out pharmacy’ where sale of product requires little or no pharmaceutical advice.

Due to the greater volume of product for sale, these pharmacies will generally be larger in size.

While these pharmacy discounters will offer some additional professional services, it is also likely the pharmacy will offer a less extensive range of professional services than a community pharmacy will offer.

So even before you look at the many practical issues within your pharmacy such as product offerings, service offerings, stock levels, staffing requirements, and size of premises etc, you first need to take a step back and understand the pharmacy market you are targeting, and further decisions should flow on from there.

If you are looking at ways to boost the performance of your pharmacy BLG Business Advisers can help. We have a number of long-term pharmacy clients we have helped and we can give you the advice you need to make the right decision. Take this opportunity to get in touch with us online or by calling (02) 4221 2299.

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Getting in the Community Spirit

Posted on March 6, 2017
by Angela Bernardi

Recently I was asked to be on the board of a local sports club, and the first thought I had was ‘I do not have the time…’. However after a few persuasive phone calls and meetings I started to understand what this club is trying to achieve and the larger impact it will have on the community.

Not having the time is not a good enough excuse. Putting aside a small amount of time each week or month for community initiatives can provide much-needed support for those involved. It can also feel really satisfying doing something worthwhile that supports others.

Contributing doesn’t have to be a mammoth effort. It can involve a simple but important phone call to someone each morning with the Telecross service, joining your child’s school P&C Committee, or even making a donation once in a while to an organisation you support.

There are so many opportunities out there to get involved, whether locally or more wide-reaching. Our youth, seniors, homes and loved-ones are all supported in one way or another by these community organisations.

I am very lucky to be surrounded by clients, colleagues and friends that give back in more generous ways than I. Without people’s involvement in the local community, whether that is volunteering, support or funding, we would not have these wonderful organisations that give so much back and our society would be far less rich.

So next time you are asked to get involved in the community in some way – just remember the ripple effect it will have.

Get in the community spirit and get involved…

Go the Wolves!

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