Stephen King talks future with independent pharmacies

Stephen King presents at Pharmacy Choice event

Professor Stephen King was in Adelaide last week to discuss the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation with Pharmacy Choice members.

At the Member Network Event, Prof King had an open discussion with members about what they want the industry to look like in the future – and what it would take to get there.

“Among community pharmacies there is a huge divergence of opinion as to the best way forward for the industry,” Prof King told the gathering.

“Large pharmacy chains have the ability to develop significant submissions which push their cases, and many independent pharmacies don’t have the time or the resources to match that.

“These Member Network Events are a chance for us to learn from a key group of pharmacy owners, ensuring independent pharmacies are heard.

“We will certainly be taking the opinions of Pharmacy Choice members into account when looking at how best to design our policy recommendations for the government.”

Pharmacy Choice National Manager Luke McKinnon says the event was an ideal opportunity to delve into an important, highly relevant topic.

“The purpose of these events is not only to provide members with an update on our tools, processes and strategy, but to give them an opportunity to voice their opinions,” he says.

“It was fantastic to have Professor King present alongside us in Adelaide and we’re looking forward to having him join us at our Tasmanian event on August 18. Fellow panel member Ms Jo Watson will be presenting at our Victorian event on August 17.”

Pharmacy Choice attendees also heard from McKinnon, who discussed the group’s strong performance over the past year.

“Revenue and Gross Profit growth was once again consistently higher than the industry benchmark,” McKinnon says.

“This is in part due to the Mission Management program launched earlier this year in collaboration with The Guild Academy, which is designed to ensure the customer goes home with everything they need to feel better faster.”

McKinnon also detailed improvements to the program, including an expanded and enhanced marketing package that integrates with LoyaltyOne and social media streams to better connect with customers.

Other presenters on the night included Willach Australia Managing Director John Koot, who discussed the increasing importance of enhancing the customer experience.

Koot described the customer experience as the next competitive battleground, where business would be won or lost.

“We know that customers value access to pharmacists, professional advice and good customer service, but today more than ever they demand much more than that,” he says.

“Pharmacy owners need to understand just how important it is to give their staff the time, space and resources to be able to provide the customer with an unforgettable experience.”

The Exclusive Member Network Events kicked off at the beginning of August in Queensland, before heading to NSW.

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