Collaboration and partnerships

ICON_CP2025 Collaboration and Partnerships

Collaborate and partner with the wider health sector, focused on medication support and services.

What is the pathway?

Collaborate and partner with the wider health sector, focused on medication support and services, including:

  1. Collaborating with clinicians, manufacturers and regulators to support emerging and novel drug therapies, including biologics, immunotherapies and pharmacogenomics
  2. Establishing relationships with Primary Health Networks (PHNs), general practitioners, specialists and allied health professionals to deliver services that meet individual and local population health needs
  3. Participating in research partnerships relating to medication advice, management and safety.

Why make the change?

Community pharmacies can leverage their trust, skills and accessibility into emerging clinical and practice-based opportunities. This includes becoming a preferred destination for patient-centred care relating to specialised medicines, including administering, education, monitoring, safety and quality use. Pharmacy is also ideally placed to coordinate medicines related care and to be an essential gateway for clinical and practical-based research.

The opportunity for pharmacies

This opportunity includes partnerships to deliver medicines safely and compliance, and collaborating with GPs, PHNs, and allied health in developing patient-centred models of primary health care.

There is an opportunity for pharmacies to take the lead in supporting the safe and effective use of novel and emerging therapies such a biologics, biosimilars and immunotherapies in collaboration with manufacturers, medicines safety platform providers, academic researchers and medical specialists.  This opportunity is likely to require broad education, re-training and in some cases the accreditation of pharmacies and their skilled staff.

Separately, pharmacies can build strategic partnerships with local primary health care providers and their representatives (e.g. PHNs) that focus on shared care models, including the provision of medication support.

What happens if I don't make the change?

PBS growth will be in specialised medicines, many of which require increased clinician support. If community pharmacies do not have this expertise they will be bypassed and left with low margin, low value-adding medicines.

Partnerships and integration of patient care will be the hallmarks of the future health system at both the macro and local delivery level, and if community pharmacies are not active participants they risk being marginalised.


You are not alone – champion story
Luke van der Rijt– Southcity Pharmacy, Wagga Wagga, NSW

Luke believes that unless pharmacies move out and seek partnerships and collaboration they will miss out on some great opportunities for their businesses and for their patients.

Luke's pharmacy is a great example of engagement with the broader health care system and community. Working with primary and allied health professionals, Luke has upskilled his pharmacists and the broader health care network in the Riverina.

The Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (PHN) has provided pharmacies in the area with 91 mental health accreditations, five diabetes education scholarships and 24 grants for cancer screening.

“Collaborating with providers and stakeholders gives pharmacy more respect as a health care destination, encourages dialogue and opens eyes to the potential for pharmacy to assist in improving patient outcomes and quality of life."

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Market research

Patients support greater collaboration with the broader health sector, including increased communication between doctors and pharmacists; having allied health professionals located on-site in the pharmacy; being able to access Medicare in a pharmacy; and closer integration with health providers for medicines safety and the development of health records.

Orima Market Research Report - September 2018 (members only)

Quick wins

Engage with your local PHN to consider ways that community pharmacy can partner with other health providers in meeting the needs of the local population.

Focus your continuing education and that of your staff on emerging drug therapies.

What can I do now?

  1. Understand the local health priorities in your area and engage with your Primary Health Network (PHN).
  2. Strengthen and broaden your relationships with other local health providers, patient and community groups.
  3. Keep an eye out for local tendering opportunities, including from PHNs.
  4. Consider participating in collaborative health service delivery trials with other health providers in your community.
  5. Undertake some initial planning. Establish a budget and develop a collaboration plan.
  6. Integrate into your pharmacy practice with staff training, referral pathways and services recording platforms.
  7. Develop a communications plan, informing patients and other local providers. Set up an evaluation..
  8. Educate yourself and your staff in the clinician support requirements for new and emerging drug therapies.
  9. Understand which new drug therapies are most relevant to your patients and the local population.
  10. Look for opportunities to participate in new-to-therapy medicines adherence and safety programs.
  11. Consider any opportunities to participate in pharmacy practice-based clinical research.

Who do I talk to?

Talk to your local PHN either individually or with other interested community pharmacy owners. Alert relevant medicine manufacturers of your interest in new-to-therapy programs and talk to GuildLink about existing programs.

More information

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Page last updated on: 27 May 2021