Community pharmacy: plans for the new year


The Pharmacy Guild has laid out its priorities for 2018

Guild Executive Director David Quilty has explored the hot topics of this year and the next in his last editorial for 2017.

Looking back

The Guild highlights some of its achievements for pharmacy in 2017 including:

  1. Its ongoing advocacy of MedsASSIST as a patient support tool.
  2. Signing an agreement with the Australian Digital Health Agency to assist pharmacy’s readiness for opt-out My Health Record next year.
  3. Community pharmacists in all jurisdictions were able to administer flu vaccinations, with an estimated 500,000 conducted around Australia.
  4. Advocating for the current community pharmacy model and working with the Health Minister Greg Hunt alongside the Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation Review.

Looking forward

The Pharmacy Guild’s priorities for 2018 include:

  1. In early 2018, pharmacies’ role in the Health Care Home trial will need to be bedded down and existing trials taken forward, says Mr Quilty.
  2. Medicine supply chain issues and medicines shortages to be tackled, with a need for a sustainable wholesaling remuneration system and high-cost medicines solution. The Guild also signals its plan to take on exclusive direct supply by some manufactuers.
  3. Advocating the “urgent need for a real-time monitoring system which must be taken forward in 2018”.
  4. Building on vaccination, so pharmacies can become the preferred destination of convenience for vaccines.

The recent pharmacy Barometer found that community pharmacy is slightly more positive than a year ago, but owners and staff are still concerned about challenges they face to secure their future, explains Mr Quilty.

“Pharmacy owners and staff see the future of pharmacy in broader healthcare but remain concerned about business viability and professional practice opportunities respectively,” he says.

“In the coming weeks and months, the Guild will be augmenting this research with further quantitative surveys of both the sector and of consumers, as well as continuing our widespread interaction with pharmacy stakeholders.”

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