What you said…

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We roundup your comments over the past week, on controversial topics such as pharmacists overstepping moral boundaries and CWH expanding in NZ

A lot has happened over the past week. Following World Pharmacists Day last Wednesday, we have covered several stories including a pay rise for pharmacists and details on Chemist Warehouse expanding in New Zealand.

We also announced the results of our reader poll on the top 14 most influential people in pharmacy.

Here are some of the comments on our latest stories.


Who are the 14 most influential people in pharmacy?

The votes are in for this year’s AJP reader poll…. we reveal who made the list

“Proud to be associated with such an amazing group of people!” — LN

“Who are the 14 most influential people in pharmacy? I would like to congratulate my husband [Jarrod McMaugh] & the other 13 most influential people in pharmacy for their achievements & recognition for what they have done and for all that they will do.” — CN

“Wow! What a stellar group of influencers! Several friends, role models, and… key Monash University Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences colleagues recognised. Special shout to Amy Page (Fellow Extraordinaire) and Anthony Tassone & Jarrod McMaugh (Members of our Pharmacy Advisory Stakeholder Group). Well done and thank you!” — TB

“Great to see an equal mix of genders!” — AZ


facepalm‘Are they on a power trip?’

Pharmacists are “overstepping moral boundaries” by asking their patients questions, a freelance writer has claimed

“Oh gosh…I Give a bit of empathy and understanding. Eeep, perhaps that’s overstepping too” — ML

“Codeine being taken out of pharmacists hands to the trusted doctors… The first script I saw after up scheduling was 240 tablets and 5 repeats. Maybe that’s why we ask questions?” — CW

“She realizes the prescription just has the medication and dose, right? And rarely has indication…?” —  JS

“This article also makes me want to quit my job and work at Bunnings, maybe people will hate me less there lol” —  MK

“Probably another Dunlevy pseudonym” —  VS

“What a load of rubbish!” —  CT



Number one: pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare team…

“Well it’s definitely not the lucrative salary…” —  CB

“None that come to mind………..” —  DC

“Regret being one” — HH

“1. Not the money
2. Not the respect from most people
3. Not the money
4. Not the venous issues due to standing all day.
5. Not the back pain that occurs from bending and stretching to get things off shelves
6. Not the money to pay for said physical work inflictions” — CS


$50 note sticks out of blue piggybankPay to go up

It’s October – which means a pay rise for employee pharmacists getting the Award wage, as a “major” new pay case is announced

“My son, a first year physio student, has just secured a part-time job as a physiotherapy assistant, which pays $29-$30 per hour. No wonder why he didn’t follow me into a career in pharmacy.” — MM

“I have just read the good news and am about to put in an offer on a beachside manor…

Now, for some approximate maths. If we allow an approximate rate of 20% for taxation (because of the low hourly rate prescribed):

a) Newly qualified pharmacist; $29.41/hr equates to about $23.50
b) “Experienced” ** pharmacist; $32.21/hr equates to about $25.75
c) Pharmacist in charge an additional 76 cents an hour; negligible difference
d) Pharmacist manager $36.74/hr which is only about $1.74 more than the apparent norm of $35/hr

“You can easily expect the PGA to put up the fight of their lives on the definition of “Experienced” pharmacist in a way that deprives as many people as possible of that 76-cents/hr pay rise. I never thought that a so-called “profession” would involve wage theft on a professional and wholesale basis but it looks like the PGA and its “No significant addition to workload” contention has ensured a terrible deal for an entire generation of workers.” — FMO


‘Adapt or perish’ as CWH expands in NZ

The New Zealand media warns of a “bloodbath” in the pharmacy sector, as Chemist Warehouse advertises for staff in two new locations

“I have met with some NZ community pharmacy owners wondering what to do and how they can survive against the Chemist Warehouse onslaught. Their bottom line had until CWH arrived been supported by a strong retail offer offer characterised by high margin cosmetic and sundries sales. That income offset the low dispensing remuneration that at between $4 and $5 / script is only one third of what Australian pharmacists receive. CWH are very strong in the range and price of beauty and health sundries departments that are seriously impacting NZ community pharmacies have they have done here. The issue is further exacerbated in NZ by CWH offering fee free scripts so not surprisingly many customers have defected to the CWH offer plus there is a significant impact on margins. In response many owners in the CWH markets have sold out and others are considering it.” — BA

“Pharmacies ARE adapting and providing more services both professional and not. Unfortunately nearly all these services are provided below cost as a marketing means to get people in store in the hope that they buy other things eg fluvax services. The other issue with this misguided philosophy is that bulk retailers also do this eg free BP tests at DDS pharmacies. Unless general retail is removed professional services in my belief will not be the saviour that everyone thinks. Further independent pharmacies cannot compete with corporate structures as has been the case in other industries” — PS

“The only reason CWH can consider offering ‘FREE’ scripts, (ie no copay), is because the Government is still picking up the tab on the rest of the cost.. .. CWH are NOT offering to return any Government payments are they?? Why not if they are so generous and big hearted?? It’s a con…scripts in the special basket on the footpath.. Pension/Concession scripts were FREE ‘back in the day’ (ie no copay) but our (Hawke) Government didn’t like that!!, they thought it resulted in hoarding and wastage.. so they slapped on a $2.50 charge, and reimbursed pensioner $2.50/week in their pension.. I wonder if Government still remembers that? I do!” — TH

Previous Training for GP pharmacists
Next World news wrapup: 3 October 2019

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