Retail focus is making pharmacy sick: Prescription for Pharmacy

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The current retailer focus of the pharmacy industry is making the sector sick, says the new The Prescription for Pharmacy company, which is set to launch next month.

Prescription for Pharmacy, which is on a mission “to cure the Australian pharmacy industry,” has announced its launch date of 14 November 2015.

The launch of The Prescription for Pharmacy reflects the growing struggles within the pharmacy industry, with more pharmacies having become insolvent in the past three years than in Australia’s entire pharmacy history, its stakeholders say.

Meanwhile, price disclosures have cost the average pharmacy up to $150,000 in net profit before tax in 2014-15, and increasing expenses have slashed the profit margin of the average Australian pharmacy to just 7%.

However, the founder of The Prescription for Pharmacy, Mouhamad Zoghbi, says he believes that government reforms and rising business expenses are not the core of the problem.

Instead, the issue is the current retailer focus of the pharmacy industry.

“The pharmacy industry is the only industry that is cannibalising itself,” says Zoghbi.

“They compete for every last cent, offering to beat the price of any script by 10% and pushing discount products whether the customer needs them or not.”

Debbie Rigby, a prominent clinical pharmacist and one of the mentors in The Prescription For Pharmacy education program, agrees.

“Are pharmacists a retailer in a health environment, or a health professional in a retail environment?” she says.

Instead, Zoghbi says, “The human element is the missing piece in the pharmacy industry today. By putting people first – whether they are your team members, your customers or your community – today’s pharmacies will build customer loyalty and generate positive word of mouth, thereby building resilience against any economic or competitive storms.”

This is the focus of The Prescription for Pharmacy, which offers training and development programs to pharmacy leaders and teams to address the four pillars of pharmacy: leadership, team, customers and community.

At the core of the company’s training modules is the PATTERNS methodology, a pharmacy-specific communication and selling skills program.

The launch of The Prescription for Pharmacy will take place on 14 November, 2015 at City Hall, in Newcastle.

At the event, Zoghbi will also be launching his new book, The Prescription for Pharmacy, which guides pharmacy leaders how to implement the four pillars of pharmacy to cure this “ailing” industry.

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