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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : October 2006
events events Friendly conference has strong showing Bigger and better APP 2007 (L-R) Fulvia Howard, Trimex’s Dieter Metz and wife Veronique, and president of the Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Association Jim Howard ORE than 200 delegates from around the country attended Phar- macy 2006, the sixth annual Australian Friendly Societies Pharmacies Associa- tion (AFSPA) conference, this year held at Peppers Salt resort in northern NSW. This year’s conference boasted a par- ticularly strong set of presentations, including a look at the future of health- care by Queensland Health executive director Dr Stephen Duckett, an enter- taining look at marketing to baby boomers (and how not to alienate them!) by Senioragency managing director Chris Cormack, and a discussion on QCPP ver- sion two—plus a lot of industry updates— from Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president Kos Sclavos. AFSPA president Jim Howard reviewed the last few years in pharmacy in his open- ing address. M ‘Last year I suggested that despite the apparent success of the Pharmacy Guild in preserving laws favouring restrictions on the ownership of pharmacy, we had been left with a very vulnerable industry,’ he said. ‘My prediction then was it was likely that in five years’ time, retail com- munity pharmacy would be characterised by large chains—not necessarily owned by the major supermarket groups, but with the effect on retail community phar- macy as a whole, more or less the same. ‘I think that today—considering the growing presence of Chemist Warehouse (L-R) Wendy Butler, National Pharmacies Chairman John Butler, and conference master of ceremonies Lynee Mclennan and other discount chemists—we might think that the five-year breathing space for this type of change is overly optimistic.’ The Federal Government’s determina- tion to reduce PBS costs was a significant problem for retail pharmacy, Mr Howard said. ‘PBS prescription numbers were down 0.5 per cent on the previous year to July 2006. With the impact of reduced whole- saler markup, from July, the cost of the PBS may decline in 2006/07. ‘The lack of agreement about the size of the problem and, for that matter, the impact of the cures attempted so far, does nothing to create an environment of cer- tainty in which retail community phar- macy can plan for business development and growth.’ More sessions included a discussion of pharmacists’ future contribution to healthcare from Sydney University's Pro- fessor Charlie Benrimoj, strategies for preventing fraud and shopstealing by Dean Newlan from McGrathNicol+Part- ners, and an examination of employers’ rights and responsibilities under the new WorkChoices legislation from McCul- lough Robertson's Angela Petie. The conference also focused strongly on its social program, which included options to play golf and Barefoot Bowls, as well as a Pioneer Country dinner, held offsite and including some boot-scooting fun. ¦ 75 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.87 OCTOBER 2006 HE Pharmacy Guild of Australia is once again gearing up for commu- nity pharmacy’s premier annual confer- ence—Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference and Trade Exhibition (APP). As usual, APP 2007 will be held from 1–4 March at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in Queensland with the theme ‘Balancing the Equation, Patient Care + QUM PBS Cost Containment’. T The event promises to be even bigger and better than the highly successful con- ferences of the past few years, and the Pharmacy Guild’s national president, Kos Sclavos, is urging pharmacists and other interested organisations/businesses to mark it down in their calendar. A number of impressive speakers have already been confirmed for APP 2007, including Dr Mukesh Haikerwal (AMA), Kate Carnell (ADGP), David Graham (TGA), Peter Davey (M-TAG), Senator Barnaby Joyce, Jan Donovan (Consumer Advocate), Rhonda White (Terry White Group), Dr Adam Winstock (NSW Health) and Patrick McKendry (Aus- tralian Retailers Association). ‘APP 2006 attracted more than 1,700 delegates nation-wide with a record 1,000 guests attending the gala dinner. The 130- strong trade booth exhibition was yet another highlight. ‘It was the largest in the event’s 15 year history and, once again, confirmed APP as the premier event in pharmacy,’ Mr Sclavos said. ‘APP continues to move from strength to strength and anyone who can attend but chooses not to is missing an invaluable opportunity to be exposed to a vast range of relevant information, education oppor- tunities and products and services that will be a direct benefit to their business.’ ¦