by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Journal of Pharmacy : May 2008
newS and review no substitute to generic growth But don’t get caught out leading up to 1 august By Jayamala Gupte levels between 18 July and 1 August. ‘If pharmacists don’t manage their a stock then a large proportion of their stock will drop in value by 25% on 1 August,’ said Kos Sclavos, national president of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia at the recent Australian Pharmacy Professional (APP) conference on the Gold Coast. ‘By the Guild’s calculations this impact could be as high as $30,000 for some pharmacies. Pharmacists are going to lose some money on 1 August. The key aim is to minimise stock value erosion and minimise losses. ‘So put any holidays on hold until after 1 August, and be personally in your pharmacy to manage your dispensary, especially from 18 July to 1 August. Make sure your staff is aware that they should not hold or order excessive stock in the weeks prior to 18 July. As manufacturers are dropping their prices from this date, there is a window of opportunity to buy at the lower price, but be reimbursed by the government at the old higher price until 1 August, when the new reimbursement rates come into effect.’ While there will be financial pain in the short-term for some pharmacists, Mr Sclavos said, ‘getting used to the new trading terms is the way forward for pharmacy’. Community pharmacist Simon Yu, from Kilmore Pharmacy in Victoria attended APP to learn more about the changes to the PBS and is heeding the advice. He suggests others do too. 4 ll community pharmacy owners have been advised to manage their debt and dispensary stock ‘I will run my dispensary down to two or three days worth of supply or, at the most, one week’s supply for high-volume drugs, prior to 1 August, so that I don’t lose money. Make sure you check your storage or back room thoroughly and do an accurate stock inventory, even if it means doing this with your staff after-hours when the pharmacy is closed,’ Mr Yu said. ‘If you plan to take advantage of the two-week window, the important question to ask your wholesaler is “when are you dropping your prices?” called ScriptMAP to upload all our individual dispensary stock data, and get an accurate idea of how one’s dispensary will fare after the next PBS reforms come in,’ Mr Yu said. Mr Sclavos also summarised a plan of action for pharmacists in the lead up to 1 August: 1. ensure that substitution rates are increased substantially on F2t drugs now; 2. focus on new F2a drugs (19 new molecules have joined disclosure and the list is available from the Scriptmap report—a new software to determine the financial health of your pharmacy); and iF pharmaciStS don’t manaGe their Stock then a larGe proportion oF their Stock will drop in value By 25% on 1 auGuSt as they legally don’t have to do so till 1 August. Those pharmacies with direct accounts with manufacturers will probably see price drops from mid-July and can start to re-stock their shelves. ‘Prices will also be determined by which medications belong to which category (F1 or F2), and the Guild is providing a software for us 3. stock premium-free drugs available from the old F2a list, which still attract a $1.50 dispensing fee. Also at the APP was Alphapharm CEO John Montgomery who told pharmacists: ‘A generics revolution is on its way, and this means that the fundamental nature of the Warning on out-of-stocks post 1 August Ongoing research into wholesaler The biggest short-term issue to affect pharmacy’s margins in the coming months could be the sudden surge in orders post 1 August, potentially causing a genuine operational out-of-stock situation, said David Parnham, director of Pharmacy Pulse. Mr Parnham and his team of researchers has been measuring the pharmacy industry for key wholesaler ‘out-of-stock’ perceptions over the past four years from the Pharmacy Pulse annual survey. The AusTrAliAn journAl of PhArmAcy vol.89 mAy 2008 satisfaction levels at Pharmacy Pulse has demonstrated that, while levels of satisfaction on wholesaler service provided were high, ‘there was an important matter of around 15% out-of- stock being reported,’ he said. ‘However, if pharmacists decide to reduce stock significantly prior to 1 August, traditional manufacturers and wholesalers must ensure that their stock levels on all branded relationship between generics manufacturers and pharmacists is set to change forever’. Mr Montgomery’s tips for a successful relationship were ‘to study your suppliers and choose a manufacturer that has the ability to control [its] supply chain, right from the laboratory to delivering it to your pharmacy. ‘At least 60% of medicines are substitutable so take advantage of the $1.50 fee for dispensing a generic medication. For example, if a pharmacy is dispensing 55,000 scripts per year with about 60% substitution, which is 30,000 scripts at a $1.50, this amounts to $45,000 a year which is going to be paid to pharmacy; currently the substitution rate is around 33 per cent. So exploit this and increase your pharmacy’s substitution rate or else, from our side, the PBS reforms will not succeed,’ Mr Montgomery said. Commenting from the Government’s point of view at the same plenary was Stephen Dellar, Department of Health and Ageing, Pharmaceuticals Benefits Division’s Acting First Assistant Secretary, who said: ‘The Government is keen to ensure a competitive generics industry and urges all pharmacists to take up the $1.50 fee which does not come automatically and is tied up with increasing the substitution rate’. n and generics full-line PBS ranges are available and in good supply as they could be a rush of orders after that date. ’ Mr Parnham also supported the advice from Mr Sclavos not to get caught short on their full-line PBS products between 18 July and 1 August. ‘Make no mistake, this will be like five Christmas weeks and five pensioner PBS-free periods rolled into a two-week window,’ he said. n