What the profession thinks

Here’s a selection of 12 key findings from the 2016 UTS Community Pharmacy Barometer

The latest UTS Pharmacy Barometer, released yesterday, was compiled from a survey of 362 pharmacists – representative of the Australian community pharmacy sector.

The mix of respondents was: owner (14%), owner/manager (36%), pharmacist-in-charge/pharmacy manager (35%) or employed pharmacist (15%). The questionnaire also captured the type of pharmacy in which the pharmacist worked (independent [48%], banner [38%] or buying group [14%]).

Among the key findings from the 2016 Barometer were the following:

1. Pharmacists’ predictions of the value of their pharmacies in three years’ remained consistent with 2015 values, suggesting they still hold some sense of optimism while waiting for the full effects of the 6CPA to be seen.

Slightly more pharmacists believe their pharmacy’s values will remain the same, while less believe they will increase in value and the same number believe they will decrease in value or were unsure.

2. There remains a level of uncertainty in the security of the future of community pharmacy after the signing of the 6CPA.

Compared to 2015 there has been a 14% drop in pharmacists feeling more secure and a 9% rise in those feeling less secure.

3. Over two thirds of pharmacists indicated there had been no remuneration change in the last year, with three quarters indicating that they earned between $30-$40/hour.

4. Pharmacists indicated the direction of a business model change as strongly orientated towards a health destination service based model (84%), over a dispensary based model (36%), or a discount model (36%).

5. A majority of respondents were neutral: neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, about the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement on either an economic or professional level.

Owner/owner managers had the greatest level of economic satisfaction with the 6CPA

6. The majority of pharmacists were neutral (5.92 out of 10) about the likelihood of changing their business model as a result of the 6CPA, with owners demonstrating the most inclination to do so.

7. Pharmacists remained fairly neutral on the benefit of solely focused dispensing, medicines and professional services pharmacies to improve health outcomes for consumers (5.97 out of 10).

With a 50/50 split in support of this model being attractive to the public.

8. Only one quarter of pharmacists believed a solely focused model to be a viable business model (24%) with majority indicating it to be unsustainable (46%).

9. Pharmacist support towards a tiered payment rate based on effort of interaction was neutral (5.64 out of 10), with pharmacist managers/pharmacist in charge and employed pharmacists demonstrating greater eagerness when compared with owner/owner managers.

10. Greater support was demonstrated for pharmacists being able to charge above the dispensed price for medicines, yet still remained at an overall neutral view (6.22 out of 10).

11. Notably, pharmacists disagreed with being able to discount medicines (3.55 out of 10), with owner/owner managers most opposed, followed by pharmacist manager/pharmacist in charge and employed pharmacists.

12. The concept of pharmacists working in medical practices was generally supported by all pharmacy types (49% owners/owner managers supported, 63% of pharmacy managers/pharmacists-in-charge, and 80% of employed pharmacists).

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