Reschedule meds, fund vaccine service to support pharmacies: White

Anthony White

Pharmacy needs to remove roadblocks such as the schedule of some medicines in order to pave the way for Terry White member success, says the group’s CEO, Anthony White.

Funding for services like vaccination needs to become a priority as well, he says.

The Terry White Group plans to become “one of the best retail pharmacy organisations in the world,” says White.

Less than two weeks after doubling its size and revenue with its merger with Chemmart, White told the Group’s annual conference that scale will be the key to the new-sized group’s success.

He outlined the strategy that he says will underpin significant “step change” in terms of size and revenue.

“Our vision is to build, innovate and grow to become the leading provider of pharmacy-based community health care in Australia,” White says.

His growth plan follows this month’s merger deal between the Terry White Group and Chemmart that is “the biggest deal of its kind that the industry has ever seen”.

The Terry White Group/Chemmart merger deal comes just a year after the Group’s deal with the South Australian Chemplus network of pharmacies.

The new business has a “truly national footprint” with more than 500 health-focused community pharmacies reporting turnover of $2 billion. White says scale is key to success.

“There are a number of opportunities and challenges for our industry and as the complexities increase, the opportunities for sophisticated health-focused groups will expand,” he says.

“Models at scale, like our business, will be able to respond to these opportunities substantially and significantly. Others will not.”

White says in addition to driving the growth strategy – which has seen five new pharmacies join the Group since the Chemmart announcement – the next six to 12 months will see a focus on innovation and quality in pharmacy health services.

“We will move to get rid of the roadblocks so that the pharmacies in this group can easily deliver better frontline health services so that all Australians stay well and get better,” he says.

“Some of the areas that will need to be worked on in this space is the rescheduling of certain medicines.

“We will move to support funding for the flu vaccination service that pharmacists now provide.

“This is the exact same service that nurses and doctors provide currently and the same funding should support the same service provided by pharmacists.”

White said the Group’s investment in core retail capabilities is proving to be a significant efficiency gain for member pharmacies, improving visibility to data trends, boosting sales and putting more pharmacists on the floor than ever before.

A multi-million dollar investment, the rollout is nearing completion and will assist the pharmacies to reach “new standards” of patient care and customer service.

Last week the Terry White Group issued a trading update for the financial year ending 30 June 2016, with unaudited management accounts showing that full-year earnings from continuing operations (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) are expected to be in the range of $7.3 million to $7.8 million.

This roughly doubles the previous period EBITDA of $3.7 million.

The result was achieved through improved returns as a result of the Group’s focus on building core retail capability and scale to deliver a more competitive market proposition to the pharmacy owners.

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