The Power of negotiation

The Digest is the Guild’s pre-eminent publication presenting an annual snapshot of the operation and financial performance of Australian community pharmacies. Over the past half a century it has shown the growing role in Australia’s primary healthcare network that community pharmacists play – a role that was further elevated during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data presented here provide a crucial understanding of the issues faced by our members. Insights drawn from the Digest are the basis of negotiations with government that set the stage for ongoing pharmacy operations in Australia.

The value of data
For Guild members, the Digest provides valuable management information to pharmacy owners and managers. Analysis making up the 50th edition is based on our largest sample yet of community pharmacies, to whom we owe great thanks. Without your generous support, the publication would not be possible.
Major successes for community pharmacy
Digest data forms the basis for the Guild’s advocacy and negotiations. It has paved the way for a range of successful outcomes over the years including the seven Community Pharmacy Agreements, or CPAs.
Beyond the dispensary
In the years since the first CPA, a steady and significant evolution has taken place in the role of community pharmacies. As pharmacists continue working toward utilising their comprehensive training, they increasingly offer services in medication management, expert advice, vaccinations, wound care and much more, seeing them emerge from behind the dispensary onto the forefront of Australia’s healthcare frontier.
The journey to full scope
Operating at full scope will see a pharmacist authorised to perform – and be accountable for – the full suite of duties for which they are educated and competent. Scope of practice is time-sensitive and dynamic. What may be described as ‘full scope of practice’ today will not be the same as ‘full scope of practice’ in years to come. Nor is it necessarily the same from one pharmacist to another. Listen to these pharmacists speak about their journey to full scope.
Professional services income growth

When you need them most

In Australia, the authorisation and funding for pharmacist scope of practice lags far behind the education, competencies and capabilities of the pharmacist workforce. The pandemic has highlighted the true potential for community pharmacists to perform at their full scope of practice, and in doing so relieve pressure on other parts of the healthcare system. Take COVID-19 vaccinations in pharmacies as one such example, as shown in the graph demonstrating total vaccinations administered.

Pharmacy Accessibility

Opportunities for the future

The Guild’s vision is for community pharmacy to thrive within a vibrant, dynamic and commercially prosperous network of businesses operating with medication advice, management and safety at its core. An opportunity assessment was commissioned to determine the range of economic and health benefits for the Australian people that would be derived from empowering pharmacists to operate at their full scope. Presented here are the national benefits across ten targeted health conditions.

ey opportunity assessment

Accessibility of pharmacy

Australia’s community pharmacy network is spread across the country from the most remote locations, throughout cities, towns and countryside. In capital cities, 97 per cent of people have access to at least one pharmacy within 2.5 km radius, while in the rest of Australia, it’s 66 per cent. Digest data aides understanding of the vast array of pharmacies across the network.

Pharmacy across the country
Did you know that for every 4,372 Australians, there is one community pharmacy in operation? That’s more than 5,875 community pharmacies spread across the country. Australians visit a pharmacy, on average, 18 times per year, making them the most frequently accessed health destination.
We know the stakes are high.

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