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

The votes are in for this years AJP reader poll: to identify the 12 most influential people in pharmacy. It was an amazingly close vote, with 21 candidates falling within two votes of the top 12. In fact, five people were tied for places 10–12.

So, we have ended up with the 14 most influential people in pharmacy.

We intended this vote to capture those people our readers think are exerting the most influence on the profession—for better or worse. And we feel we’ve captured a relatively diverse group of final nominees.

Another different approach we’ve taken this year is to list the 14 nominees in first name alphabetical order, rather than list by the number of votes they received—the results were so close that we felt it was doing a disservice to identify them in this way.

In total we received 124 separate votes (this year voters had to be registered users of the AJP website), with a total of 346 nominations and around 90 individual nominees – 31 of whom received a single vote.

We’d like to thank everyone that took the time to participate, and congratulate those who received the most votes and made our final list. The future of pharmacy is in your hands!

The 14 people (in first name alphabetical order) are:

Adele Tahan

  • Community pharmacist and proprietor
  • Member, NSW branch committee, Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Member, Alcohol and other drug advisory committee, Central and Eastern Sydney PHN
  • Specialist advisor, TGA

Amy Page

  • Lead Pharmacist: Rehabilitation Aged and Community Care, Alfred Health
  • NHMRC Early Career Fellow, Monash University
  • General practice pharmacist, Emerald Medical Centre
  • Member, Victorian branch committee, PSA


Anthony Tassone

  • President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Victoria)
  • National councillor of the Pharmacy Guild
  • Board member on the National Return of Unwanted Medicines (NatRUM) project
  • Community pharmacist and owner


Chris Freeman

  • National president, PSA
  • Director – Centre for Optimising Pharmacy Practice-based Excellence in Research (COPPER), The University of Queensland
  • Clinical senior lecturer, The University of Queensland
  • Consultant practice pharmacist, Camp Hill Healthcare

David Heffernan

  • President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW)
  • Chair of the Guild National Engagement and Advocacy Committee
  • Pharmacy owner


Debbie Rigby

  • Consultant clinical pharmacist
  • General practice pharmacist, Garden City Medical Practice
  • Director, NPS MedicineWise
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland
  • Associate Clinical Professor, School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology


George Tambassis

  • National President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (since 2013)
  • President, World Pharmacy Council
  • Community pharmacy owner
Jack Gance. Image: Aaron Francis / NewsPix

Jack Gance & Mario Verrochi

  • Owners, My Chemist Retail Group
  • Pharmacy franchise owners and discount pharmacy pioneers


Jarrod McMaugh

  • Community pharmacist/managing partner, Capital Chemist Coburg North
  • Project pharmacist, PSA
  • President, Chronic Pain Australia
  • Board member, Harm Reduction Victoria & Hepatitis Victoria

Jarrod McMaugh.

Lisa Nissen

  • Head of the School of Clinical Sciences at QUT
  • Member of the Scheduled Medicines Expert Committee for AHPRA
  • Member of the Commonwealth Department of Health Advisory Committee on Vaccines

Paul Naismith

  • CEO, FRED IT Group
  • Director of the PharmX EDI joint venture
  • Chair, PDL (Pharmaceutical Defence Ltd) – owner of the AJP
  • Pharmacy owner

Shane Jackson

  • Interim CEO (and former President), PSA
  • Community pharmacist and proprietor
  • Clinical reference lead, Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Senior clinical lecturer, University of Tasmania

Steve Flavel

  • Founder, Independent Pharmacies of Australia
  • Community pharmacist and owner

Trent Twomey

  • President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Queensland)
  • National Vice President, Pharmacy Guild of Australia
  • Secretary, World Pharmacy Council
  • Pharmacy owner and business leader in Far North Queensland

Also of influence

The following pharmacists missed the final list by one or two votes:

Gerard Stevens – founder and CEO of Webstercare
Geraldine Moses – leading pharmacy educator
Jacinta Johnson – pharmacy academic and hospital pharmacist
Jenny Gowan – leading consultant pharmacist and academic
John Bronger – former Pharmacy Guild National President
Judy Plunkett – pharmacy owner and NSW Guild councillor
Lloyd Sansom – former chair, Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee 

Please check out the full 14 Most Influential People in Pharmacy article with interviews in the October AJP print magazine.

We will also be featuring extended profiles of many of the final 14 in upcoming editions of the AJP newsletter.

Thanks to all who voted! 

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  1. Anthony Zehetner

    Great to see an equal mix of genders!

  2. Peter Crothers

    I reckon if you locked 13 out of the 15 people listed here in a room and told them they can’t come out until they’ve redesigned the PBS to deliver effective healthcare it would take them less than half a day.

  3. Ex-Pharmacist

    With community pharmacy widely reconsidered as ‘in crisis’ (https://ajp.com.au/columns/opinion/pharmacy-in-crisis/), what are these 14 pharmacy ‘leaders’ doing to address it? I don’t see much from my vantage point, but perhaps others here can enlighten me…

    • Jarrod McMaugh

      Stephen you comment a lot on the site and have a lot of opinions – what about yourself? Have you got the solutions yourself?

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