Editor’s Note: Crunch time is coming up fast with Location Rules now firmly being investigated as to relevancy.
i2P predicted this event in the year 2000, but we were three years out.
We expected it to happen in 2012.
We also said that when pharmacists were worn down with a massive workload and a minimal return for effort invested, pharmacies would be offered to supermarkets.
Ownership restrictions will eventually be removed as well, and competition will be experienced from giant global pharmacy businesses.
Government sees pharmacy only in terms of supply and pharmacy leaders have failed to lead pharmacists into new and viable markets.
The race is now on in earnest to build revenue streams that can sustain pharmacy over a rough patch that does not rely on government funding.
Individual pharmacy owners must now move their personal aspirations along by making their own way without much guidance from pharmacy leadership organisations.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is now fully commoditised and when discounted co-payments begin to bite, will be no longer profitable.
Commoditised medicines without value adding are simply made for supermarkets.
i2P has published a vast range of material that gives directional ideas for pharmacists.
It does not date, so begin to access the archives for answers to your future problems.
Government betrayal is a fact. If you don’t plan for a future it will never happen.
Attendance at Mouhamad Zoghbi’s conference and book launch will kick-start your planning.
Mouhamad’s comments follow:
One observation was prominent with each and every pharmacy I have visited lately, everyone is saying that there are no shortages of customers, pharmacies are busier than ever, but the main problem is that it is not being translated with increases in bottom line profits.
With all the hype about the 6CPA and the hope it brings to pharmacy, the bottomline is that the government has taken two dollars out of pharmacies pockets and given one dollar back. Then to add salt to the wounds, it has decided that pharmacies cannibalise each other through vicious price wars with the $1 discounted co-payment, which if implemented in full, would erase up to $60,000 in net profit from the average pharmacies bottom line and will help delay the safety net of your most chronically ill patients who are also paying the price.
Clearly the CPA’s are not getting much better with the average loss of up to $150,000 from the average pharmacy last financial year, I believe that this 6CPA is the carrot before the stick.
So the question is a matter of when? Not if, but when will the government decide that deregulation is the way to enhance even stronger competition?
Is the $1 discount a blessing in comparison to finding pharmacies down the aisles of Coles, Woolworths, Aldi, Kmart and Target?
There are three options for every pharmacy owner to take.
- Live in denial that this will never happen to Australian pharmacies.
- Wait until your the majority of your customers start filling their scripts while shopping for their groceries
- Do something about it now, before your pharmacy follows the same path of extinction as the mum and dad run corner shop, the newsagent, the farm grown fruit market and the extinction of the privately owned service station.
Reforms come and go every five years, but there is always an important constant within your pharmacy, and that is:
- You, the leader.
- Your team.
- Your customers
- Your community.
If I were you, those four pillars are the greatest assets that I will entirely focus on.
A valued pharmacy starts with the leaders with a purpose that goes beyond making money. These leaders know that committed employees create committed customers, committed customers create committed communities, and committed communities create a thriving pharmacy ecosystem.
It’s time to use the power of your leadership to encourage your team to serve a greater purpose in the community. It’s time to tailor your customer service to the needs of the individual customer who walks into your pharmacy in the hope of being cured from his disease. It’s time to touch your community with the power of healthcare education. It’s time to heal a nation plagued with obesity, smoking, alcoholism, drug addiction, mental diseases, overcrowded hospitals and exhausted medical and healthcare practitioners.
And what we can learn from that is, whatever regulations and de-regulations that are thrown at us, nothing can break the bond of customer loyalty. In definition, customer loyalty is when a customer buys from you regardless of price. Why? Because you genuinely care for the health and wellbeing of your customers and their loved ones. Something you will not find on supermarket shelves.
After 17 years of conducting over 7,600 pharmacy visits in Australia and across the globe as a pharmaceutical representative, I constantly asked the question. Why does one pharmacy out perform another when they have the same customer demographics? I observed that it is those who pause, listen, ask the right questions, genuinely care, build trust and empathise with their customers are the ones who have the greatest profits, fulfilled staff and most loyal customers. I collated my observations and compiled them into a book titled ‘The Prescription For Pharmacy’ that is supported with a training program that enhances leadership capabilities, team performance, customer loyalty and community education.
The time has come for the pharmacy profession to prescribe its’ own destiny.
Please join me and my team of experts in the field of human resources, digital marketing, business planning and understanding your numbers, leadership, clinical pharmacy, communication and selling skills on November the 14th at City Hall, Newcastle from 9am-4pm and immunise your pharmacy from today’s challenges and the challenges that lay ahead.
Click on the link below for more conference details – pricing and keynote speakers.