Why should community pharmacists stay optimistic?

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Despite the recent news regarding Amazon and Chemist Warehouse, community pharmacy is far from being at death’s door, says the Pharmacy Guild

The decision by Chemist Warehouse to switch wholesalers and the purchase of PillPack by Amazon in the US seems to have woken the community pharmacy “doom-and-gloom merchants from their slumber,” writes Guild Executive Director David Quilty in his latest editorial.

“However, before we all start slitting our collective throats, let’s remember we’ve seen this movie before – the demise of pharmacy is gleefully predicted but never eventuates,” he continues.

Mr Quilty points out that deregulation is no longer a looming threat now that location rules were locked in by legislation earlier this year.

And online script providers won’t be able to compete with the convenience and ‘human touch’ that community pharmacy provides.

“The news for the naysayers is that community pharmacy continues to have the overwhelming support of the public and is not going anywhere,” says Mr Quilty.

“Far from being at death’s door, there are very good reason to be optimistic about the future of community pharmacy.

“The ageing population, an unprecedented reliance on increasingly complex medicines, the drive towards integrated health care, the fiscal need to reduce hospital admissions, and the increased consumer focus on convenience, wellness and being connected to communities of trust, all point firmly in the direction of an enhanced role for community pharmacies in the health system.

“In today’s world, change is constant and no one is immune. Community pharmacies must be proactive in understanding and preparing for the future … but at all times remembering that their uniquely trusted relationship with their patients will always be their core competitive advantage.”

See the full editorial here

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