Pharmacists need to get cracking now to secure their future in a very different pharmacy landscape, warns the Guild
In this week’s edition of Forefront, Pharmacy Guild executive director David Quilty writes that “the successful community pharmacy in 2025 is likely to look very different to the pharmacy of today” and warns of a number of challenges which could see individual stores fall by the wayside.
“Its core focus will be on medication advice, management and safety,” he writes.
“It will be a community health hub, delivering a wide range of health services to patients either by pharmacists themselves or working in partnership with other primary and allied health professionals.
“It will be technologically enabled to meet its patients’ needs and will extend its reach outside the four walls of the physical pharmacy.
“It will be excellent in all aspects of its business operations, with aligned products and services and a clearly identifiable brand.”
Mr Quilty cites data gleaned through CP2025 research which shows that patients want their local pharmacy to offer a broader array of health services and for pharmacists to practise to their full scope as medicines experts.
“There is also little doubt that the combination of an ageing population, a greater reliance on medicines, an increased focus on wellness and a growing demand for timely and convenient access to health services all work in favour of community pharmacy.
“However, future success will not be handed to community pharmacy on a platter.”
Trends which negatively impact the pharmacy sector – such as low growth in the PBS, with new listings being concentrated in the hospital sector; or the “growing preponderance of corporate health care providers” and a competitive retail sector being disrupted by technology – must be taken into account, he says.
“As the Guild’s strategic adviser for CP2025, Pottinger has stressed the importance of pharmacies taking action now to prepare for the future,” Mr Quilty warns.
“Identifying nine growth pathways for community pharmacy, the Pottinger team makes clear that apathy and the fear of failure are the two greatest enemies of successful change.
“It doesn’t really matter, John says, if what you do initially is successful or not. By making the all-important decision to take the first step, you have changed your mindset and begun the journey towards a positive future for your pharmacy, staff and patients.”
He cited the pharmacy owners who have signed on to be CP2025 Champions, whose experiences are being included in the Guild’s upcoming Framework for Change.