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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : February 2005
management management updates CAPITAL HILL Another PBS dilemma ?from page 76 patient co-payments where industry decides it’s still going to apply price pre- miums to generics where possible! A sore point for the Guild, and cer- tainly an issue for the Fourth Guild-Gov- ernment round of negotiations. The effect essentially is to apply multi- ple reductions of 12.5 per cent across the same therapeutic category, according to the current language. In other words, Brand A of a drug comes off patent and cops a 12.5 per cent price reduction. Because it is in a therapeutic category where there may be another drug, B, which is the only one of its type, that drug (B) automatically cops the 12.5 per cent too. But, when B’s off patent, it cops another 12.5 per cent. Messrs Howard and Abbott would be well advised to dump this poorly consid- ered initiative. As it stands, the govern- ment faces a united front between the GMiA, Medicines Australia and the Guild. So watch the frantic spadework and Washington’s response as the Howard government tries credibly to extract itself from the potential hole it’s dug. It’s going to prove a very interesting time. ¦ The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of the AJP’s management or staff New pharmacy brand from Sigma According to Sigma, the new brand builds on the historical equity of the Amcal brand in pharmacy. Amcal Max is intended to complement existing Amcal pharmacies and provide a further option for members and prospective members to adopt a fuller and more compliant retail solution. Existing Amcal members will not be compelled to switch to the new brand but will be given priority, along with Guardian members, to join the new brand. S ‘We’ve added a compelling retail offer without in any way diminishing the cred- ibility of the pharmacists, whose profes- sional status remains the focus of the brand,’ said Sigma managing director Elmo de Alwis. IGMA has unveiled its new phar- macy brand, Amcal Max. Sigma’s retail team, in conjunction with brand consulting firm FutureBrand, as well as 35 of its retail banner members from across Australia, worked to set the direction for the new brand. Extensive consumer research was also undertaken. In developing the new concept store, Sigma teams used standard low-cost, off the shelf components to create a fresh, contemporary and attractive environ- ment. The store has been zoned to help clar- ify the distinct offers of beauty, dispensary and health, as well as everyday personal care basics while maintaining overall con- sistency of look and feel. In order to showcase the new concept to its current banner members and other stakeholder groups, Sigma has built a replica pharmacy within a rented ware- house in Melbourne (see picture). Before rolling out the new concept, Sigma intends to pilot Amcal Max in a ‘live pharmacy’ to further fine-tune the offer, as well as the retail processes of core ranging, category management replenish- ment, customer service and IT. Sigma will continue to support its exist- ing Amcal and Guardian members. ‘The basic retail learnings and processes that come out of the Amcal Max pilot will be leveraged to improve the retail offer for our Amcal and Guardian banner mem- bership,’ said Mr de Alwis. ¦ 110 ? THE AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY VOL.86 FEBRUARY 2005