APP top 10: the Guild’s view

With visits from the Health Minister and the Remuneration and Regulation review panel chief, APP 2016 was always going to be huge.

Here Pharmacy Guild of Australia executive director David Quilty counts down his personal top 10 from the event, as reported in Guild newsletter Forefront.

10: Announcement of the Medview Medications Workspace by FRED Health. Over time, this electronic platform will help drive the MyHealth Record, enabling doctors, pharmacists, hospitals and patients to have shared access to the critical medicines information that will deliver more efficient and cost-effective health outcomes.

9: The APP trade exhibition, which this year was even bigger and more jam-packed with value-adds for pharmacies, with well over 400 exhibitors showcasing a vast array of products and services, technologies and platforms.

8: Stephen King’s presentation on the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Review. While many of us in the audience may have disagreed with some of his observations, he deserves plaudits for his forthright and transparent approach and also his panel for taking the time to meet with a diverse array of pharmacies and stakeholders during APP.

7: The State of the Industry Symposium is always a first morning highlight. This year, all five industry leaders conveyed a clear message about the need to be united in ensuring that the PBS remains sustainable.

6: The Minister’s Pharmacy Trial Program announcement. It was tremendous to see Minister Ley announce the topics for the first trials that will be delivered through community pharmacies. They are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medication management, diabetes screening and referral, and continuity in the management of patients’ medications when they are discharged from hospital.

5: Minister Ley’s commitment to pharmacy ownership. After presenting the Pharmacy of the Year awards, the Minister went ‘off the cuff’ in her speech stating:

What shone through – leaving aside the excellent clinical practice which of course is vital for your communities – was that the business model that you present just ticks all the boxes. Because of your ownership of your pharmacies, you have skin in the game as investors but you also have front and centre the need to look after people who walk in your door.

4: The Guild Members Only breakfast. What’s said at the Guild Members Only breakfast always stays in the Guild Members breakfast. However, it was fantastic to see 700+ Guild members fill the pavilion at Jupiters. Thank you one and all for your support – you inspire us at the Guild to do our best on your behalf every day.

3: The international speakers from Canada, the UK and the USA. In particular the presentations by the leaders of the Guild’s sister organisations in Canada and the UK provided a unique insight into pharmacy practice in their countries, the challenges that their pharmacies face and how they are confronting them.

2: Health Advice Plus. If anyone still questioned pharmacies’ commitment to primary health care, the ‘packed to the rafters’ professional services sessions on Sunday morning provided an unambiguous answer. The Guild’s comprehensive Health Advice Plus change management platform and related tools provide the practical support that pharmacies need to transform their businesses.

1: The Pharmacy of the Year winners. Maybe I am biased, but I find it impossible every year not to shed a tear or two when the passionate, innovative, committed and entrepreneurial Pharmacy of the Year winners tell their personal stories on stage at APP. This year’s three category winners and the overall winner in Pharmacy 777 Nollamara in Perth, were no exception, making us all proud to be involved in community pharmacy.

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