Most influential people in pharmacy: Anthony Tassone


We speak to the next person in our 14 most influential people in pharmacy campaign, as voted by you

Anthony Tassone
President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria)

National councillor of the Pharmacy Guild
Board member on the National Return of Unwanted Medicines (NatRUM) project
Community pharmacist and owner

Where do you see pharmacy going in five years or where would you like to see pharmacy in five years?

The profession in the next five years will evolve substantially with the introduction of technology and services, including e-prescriptions, which will see a continued shift towards pharmacist delivered health services (I hate the term ‘professional services’ as I hope we don’t have any unprofessional ones) and primary care being a focus of community pharmacy.

The profession in the next five years will evolve substantially with the introduction of technology and services, including e-prescriptions, which will see a continued shift towards pharmacist delivered health services (I hate the term ‘professional services’ as I hope we don’t have any unprofessional ones) and primary care being a focus of community pharmacy.

Convenience will not be limited to physical location or trading hours, it will be about engagement with our patients in different media including digital.

Hopefully pharmacists will be given the opportunity to practice to their full scope in delivering primary care for our patients. The health system needs it.

Do you think the pharmacy industry/profession is on the right track, or is there more work that needs to be done?

I think the community pharmacy model is a great one for delivery of primary care and equity of access for patients but more can always be done. The public have a high level of trust for pharmacists and are open to us playing a greater role as part of the primary healthcare team.

The current pharmacy bashing is indicative of the fact that we have opponents to the current system and we need to defend ourselves against these attacks while also growing the profession and ensuring it can withstand onslaughts in the future.

With the current pharmacy workforce challenges upon us, we need to do more to attract and retain the best talent we possibly can in the profession along with giving them every opportunity to make the biggest impact as health professionals in our health system.

Anthony Tassone at the Victorian vaccination announcement. Image: Anthony Tassone via LinkedIn.
Anthony Tassone at the Victorian vaccination announcement. Image: Anthony Tassone via LinkedIn.

How do you see yourself as influencing the pharmacy profession?

I am a community pharmacist and my primary influence (along with that of my business partners and team) is through looking after the wellbeing of our patients. They are our best flag bearers – happy and well looked after patients are out profession’s greatest assets.

I extend this through my work as Victorian President of the Guild and as a National Councillor of the Guild. In these roles I have a lot of interaction with parliamentarians, patient groups and stakeholders and through these I promote the role of community pharmacies and advocate for us being able to work to our full scope of practice – a position that can only be of benefit to patients and to the health system.

My aim is to try and give a voice to our members and profession, of late that has come more in responses to negativity and attacks on pharmacy.  As an elected representative, I see it as my responsibility to defend against attacks on our profession – no matter the; time, place or medium.

What are all your current roles?

I am a community pharmacist, Victorian President of the Guild and a National Councillor of the Guild.  I am also a board member on the National Return of Unwanted Medicines (NatRUM) project and hold a number of advisory roles for universities, research projects and pharmaceutical companies.

Away from pharmacy, I am a coach for my son’s Australian rules footy team and President of the Calisthenics club my wife and daughter compete at.  I am a strong believer in volunteerism – communities are like a bank you can only expect to take out what you’re prepared to put in.

More importantly, I am happily married and a proud father of a son and two daughters.

What would you like your primary influence on pharmacy to be?

I hope I can have an influence in our profession to encourage and mentor the next generation of pharmacists to put their hand up and get involved, including encouraging greater diversity in our pharmacy leadership.

In my experience, there are three types of people; those who say what should happen, those who wonder what happened and those that make it happen. 

We should be proud of our profession and what pharmacists can do – and I hope I’ve helped play a part to stand up to the doubters and haters in the public domain.

Also I want to help show what is great about our profession and pharmacist’s practice – not so we can try and be doctors but be the best pharmacists we can possibly be and reach our full potential to deliver patient care.

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