The consumer lowdown

What are the demographic trends impacting community pharmacy? Mark McCrindle gives us a sneak preview of some insights to be presented at APP2017

APP always provides the opportunity to hear information that directly relates to, but is not part of, day to day community pharmacy practice.

Important research on social, economic, demographic and consumer trend is often a highlight of particular interest to pharmacy owners and managers.

We spoke to social researcher Mark McCrindle who is, once again, enlightening APP delegates with his latest data and research on demographic trends and habits.

What’s the theme of the presentation?

The theme this year will be around consumers understanding of pharmaceuticals and pharmacy health services.

Specifically, my presentation will be around the place of pharmacies in our communities, the consumer trends in local pharmacies, prescription medicine management and pharmacies of the future.

Can you provide a broad overview of the data you’ve collected?

The 2017 Pharmacy Guild of Australia survey asked respondents a series of questions relating to prescription medicines, pharmacies in the community and the benefit of dose aid administration devices. Broadly, pharmacies are viewed as an integral part of the local community, and the most commonly used service is purchasing prescription only medicines (75%).

While the Builder generation (aged 72+) are the biggest user of prescription medication, they are also least likely to miss a prescribed dosage. Full time workers are the most likely to forget a dose of prescription medication (58% of full time workers forget three or more doses a month).

Is there anything that stands out? What are some highlights?

The pharmacy of the future is definitely an interesting discussion. The impact of demographic changes, including Australia’s growing, ageing and densifying population, as well as the technological and generational shifts we are seeing taking place are certainly going to impact consumer trends in the future.

The research shows that 72% think it would be very/somewhat convenient if their eHealth records were immediately available after visiting the doctor, saving time repeating themselves. I will also be sharing other impacts on the future of pharmacies and consumer trends of the future, which I think will certainly be a highlight and of interest to the pharmacists of today!

What is a key message for pharmacists to take from the presentation? What would you learn from attending?

I think a key message is that pharmacists should be encouraged by the positive response Australians have towards their local pharmacy, and that they feel they are an integral part of their community. Our research showed that respondents viewed Pharmacies as friendly, professional and being an integral part of healthcare services. Australians have positive impressions of their local pharmacy, most associating words such as  ‘friendly’ (63%), ‘professional’ (55%) and ‘reliable’ (55%) with their local pharmacy.

Three out of five respondents (61%) indicated that pharmacists benefit the community because they are an integral part of healthcare services along with doctors and specialists. The local pharmacy received a very good Net Promotor Score of 15 from survey respondents, with many likely to recommend their local pharmacy to a friend or colleague, so pharmacists should walk away feeling encouraged and inspired to continue to assist their local communities.

Mark McCrindle, author of The Healthy Futures Report 2017 will be presenting at APP2017 on Friday 10 March, presented by Amneal.    

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