It was a year which began for pharmacy in discussion of the fate of codeine, staff pay issues and a review which threatened to destabilise the community pharmacy model
And it ended with pretty much the same issues paramount—well the King Review was delivered and presumably filed away in the Department of Health, ready to be brought out in time for negotiations for the 7CPA.
We’ll look in more detail at some key topics, but other notable events were:
A new player
One development in the second half of the year has been the arrival of a major new player in the form of Ramsay Health.
The private hospital giant announced that it planned to open “hundreds” of community pharmacies. The rollout began in August with the announcement it had exchanged contracts with the Queensland-based Malouf Pharmacy Group.
Regulatory approval was recently granted for Ramsay franchisees to acquire Malouf Pharmacies, and we could see Ramsay on track to operate 55 retail pharmacies once current contracts are completed.
The biggest name
From one potential new pharmacy superpower to the existing head of the pack. Anything Chemist Warehouse does is big news in pharmacy and 2017 was no exception, with five of our 20 most-clicked stories for the year being about CWH.
Seven Chemist Warehouse stores across Victoria became Supercare Pharmacies, as part of an agreement with the Victorian Government, joining CWH Traralgon as 24/7 Supercare Pharmacies.
Documents also emerged through the year that revealed the My Chemist and Chemist Warehouse group has a total worth of about $1.43 billion. Who says there is no money in pharmacy any more?
The biggest story of the year (at least in terms of clicks on our website) was the announcement of the 2017 flu strains.
Vaccination is at the forefront of pharmacy’s professional service role, and it seems an area in which the profession is prepared to lead the way. This can only be a positive.
Established and rising stars
2017 could be called the year of Capital Chemist Waniassa, co-owned by Honor Penprase and Elise Apolloni.
Their store won the Pharmacy of the Year award for Professional Innovation, and was the Guild Care Pharmacy of the Year. Elise was also the PSA Young Pharmacist of the Year (Irvine Newton was deservedly awarded Pharmacist of the Year).
Elise was also voted by AJP readers as the number one Rising Star of Pharmacy. One prize that eluded this team was the Pharmacy of the Year award—for which congratulations go to Lucy Walker and her
team from Chemmart Goondiwindi.
Change at the top
The well-respected Dr Shane Jackson succeeded Joe Demarte as national president of the PSA during the year.
Three new state Guild presidents were elected: Trent Twomey suceeding Tim Logan, who retired after four terms as Queensland president, David Heffernan elected in NSW, and Simon Blacker succeeding Amanda Galbraith in the ACT.