The Business Conditions Survey is an annual survey, conducted at the Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference, which seeks to assess the business conditions experienced by Guild members’ in the previous 12 months and their expectations for the future.
This year’s report incorporates the results of the first five years of the survey, providing comparative information about reported changes in expenses, turnover, prescription volume and other influences on financial performance. The report also highlights the operational occurring within community pharmacy, including increased provision of professional services and expectations of increasing capital intensity, particularly through investment in technology.
This year’s survey was conducted in March, preceding the delivery of the Pharmacy Compact, so the results should be interpreted as reflective of conditions and sentiment reported earlier this year.
The Pharmacy Compact - which is the result of months of negotiations between the Guild leadership and the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and his team - delivers on the commitments made by the Prime Minister at the Guild Annual Parliamentary Dinner last November.
First and foremost, the agreement recognises the impact of lower prescription volumes compared with the estimates in the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement (6CPA), which will be moderated by a $200 million increase in the Administration Handling and Infrastructure fee (AHI) over the remaining three years of the 6CPA starting on 1 July this year.
Critically, the Government has committed to maintaining the Location Rules beyond the 6CPA and, at the earliest opportunity, will remove the sunset clause in the National Health Act that would have seen the Location Rules discontinue on 30 June 2020. This is testament to the tried and tested community pharmacy model and will provide much-needed certainty and stability for pharmacy small businesses.