Pharmacy of the Year finalists embracing change

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The judges involved in selecting the finalists for the Guild Pharmacy of the Year Award have emphasised that a standout feature of all five finalists was their recognition of the need to change and their innovation in implementing such change.

“They have all embraced that need to change,” spokesperson for the judging group, Marion Whalan, National Manager, Business Support of the Pharmacy Transformation Group of the Pharmacy Guild, says.

“All of the five pharmacies are health advice destinations. They are doing so much more than simply dispensing medicines.”

The Guild Pharmacy of the Year Award, conducted annually by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, recognises pharmacies that are leading the way in providing innovative and optimal healthcare for members of their community.

The awards recognise excellence in pharmacy across three categories:

  • Business Management
  • Community Engagement
  • Professional Innovation


The finalists this year came from a broad field of nominated pharmacies and have shown they are the leaders in their field. A different community pharmacy will be selected as the winner in each category, with the Guild Pharmacy of the Year for 2016 being selected from these three individual category winners.

Whalan says the five finalists all demonstrated they were innovative and were prepared to take risks.

“They are all, in their own way, considering what the pharmacy of the future needs to be,” she says.

“Across the board there is a systemic approach in what they are doing. It’s not haphazard; it’s well considered and they’ve looked at their communities to identify the needs and also the opportunities in their area.”

Whalan says the judges also were impressed by the fact that all five pharmacies recognised the need to look at new sources of revenue outside of the government model.

In the environment created by the PBS the public had come to expect pharmacies to be like a public institution and this was a paradigm that had to be challenged.

“Fee for service is one aspect of the pharmacy of the future. They are all focussing on not continuing to rely on the government and new sources of income must include fee for service,” Whalan says.

“And that is challenging. Some consumers will buck at this, especially in very strong competitive environments.

“But they are looking at differentiation – they are not in a race to the bottom but rather these pharmacies are identifying what is different about their pharmacies, and what their patients and customers value. They are focusing on what differentiates their business model from others.”

Another element all five finalists shared was that the whole pharmacy team was involved in building for the future.

“It’s quite a deliberate business-management/people management approach where they have systems in place to establish the direction they need to take,” she says.

“We have seen examples of all of the pharmacy team being involved in strategic planning, we’ve seen examples of agreed monthly KPIs and celebration and recognition of success in achieving the KPIs.”

Read about the five finalists here:

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