The WA Pharmacy Forum Recap Day One

Another Pharmacy Forum is done and dusted. At Peak Strategies we love attending the Pharmacy Forum, it’s a great way to catch up with people within the industry and also to learn something new. This year, the WA Pharmacy Guild went above and beyond for the attendees. Feedback from some of our clients who attended was that this was the best Forum yet! The speakers were engaging, the exhibitor stands were amazing and the entertainment on the Thursday was so different and exciting!

So, of course now we will be sharing our recaps on some of the sessions we were able sit in on. We will start off with Day One!

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Seek Change for the Better

Presenter: Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson provided an insight into his darkest days and how he was able to extract something positive from a negative. His delivery and emotional tribute to his sister was very touching and inspiring. I wish I had the tissues beforehand to prepare me from hearing his story.

Australia was first introduced to Samuel on our TV screens in 2001 when he starred in the hit TV series The Secret Life of Us. He took a break from acting before coming back into our TV sets again to star as Molly Meldrum in the miniseries Molly where he won a gold logie for his performance. From there, he also competed and went on to win Dancing with the Stars. If you don’t believe these awards, he certainly didn’t have any hesitations in whipping out is trophies from his tool box to pass around.

On screen and in the public eye, you would not think this lovable larakin had undergone some dark moments off screen. Samuel described being thrust into the spotlight and riding the success of a well loved TV series. After The Secret Life of Us ended, he went into hiding as he became very distrustful of people after being in the public eye. He worked in a pub and met a girl who he fell in love with. After he ended their relationship, he left for Melbourne and unfortunately that night, his now ex-girlfriend ended her life. This experience left him traumatised as a young 24 year old man and he struggled what to do next to offset the negativity of this event. The answer he came up with was to find an organisation where he could make a difference. This organisation was in Open Family Australia, a youth outreach program where he found that kids were interested in film-making. He then was able to provide eleven young people the opportunity to take them on a crash course in film making.

Then came the day his sister, Connie Johnson, was diagnosed with progressive breast cancer. A heart-wrenching event to happen to a family. Both siblings decided to create the Love Your Sister Charity. He went on to ride around Australia on a unicycle to raise money and awareness to remind Australia of this cancer and to promote early detection to help improve the survival rate of Australian women. Through Connie’s experience, she did not want another family to go through the emotional roller coaster they had been through. Connie also kicked goals and created the Big Heart Project which was a huge heart that was built which was filled with 5 cent coins by the generous donations of Australians. Unfortunately, she passed away however the Charity still continues to raise awareness and help the Garvan Institute of Medical Research to help find a cure to cancer.

From the Johnson’s battle cancer war, they found that Connie was on false cancer treatment where she had to experiment the drug for at least 3 months to see whether it was the right treatment. It took to the 4th drug to take place for it to be successful however you can see the amount of time that went by until it was right. Currently Samuel is going around Australia on a 2 year tour to promote awareness and engagement from the community to come on board for personalised treatments for cancer patients. Patients can be tested before hand to see which drug is going to be the best drug for their treatment instead of going through months and months of trial and error before finding the right drug treatment.

The underlying message of trying to find the good from something bad is difficult but it can be done, even from the most traumatic and emotional events in your lives. For more details on Samuel’s latest campaign, go to Love Your Sister (

Your government - what do they have in mind?

The esteemed Deputy WA Premier, Minister for Health and Mental Health, the Hon. Roger Cook MLA delivered the announcement of the day - with immediate effect community pharmacists who had completed the appropriate online training will be able to administer an expanded range of vaccinations for patients 10 years and over.

The trained pharmacists will be able to administer:

· measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)

· Diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis (whooping cough)

· Meningococcal ACWY

The minister also confirmed the government's support for the advancement of pharmacy in WA following the finalisation of the 'Sustainable Health Review. He expressed the view that the role of the pharmacist is underutilised and can add value in preventative community health to benefit the overall future of primary health care in WA.

A long list of potential areas has been highlighted for the role of pharmacists to be expanded to, these include:

· Increased involvement in hospital discharge

· Supporting mental health

· Prescribing for chronic illnesses, citing asthma and diabetes as examples

· Monitoring and managing chronic diseases

· Expanded immunisation services

The minister also announced the outcome of the Community Pharmacy Australia ownership review. Amongst the 23 recommendations, the one of most significance is that there is to be no changes to the current ownership rules.

7CPA - Where are we at?

The guild highlighted the essential elements of the community Pharmacy agreement currently being negotiated:

· Remuneration structure recognising dispensary as an integral service

· Efficient and effective PBS and NDSS distribution across Australia

· Assurance of safety and quality of medication supply and pharmacy services

· Patient access to pharmacist and community pharmacies

· Pharmacy program/services from occasion of service and a consultation model

· Improving efficiency of the health system through digital enablement

· Location rules ensuring appropriate distribution and patient access to community pharmacy

· Enhanced patient access to specialised medicines, advice and services

· Model of medicines access to aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with NACCHO and the guild

· Improving quality of life and patient care in rural and medical under serviced areas

· Certainty of funding in full to promote investment and improve services to benefit patients

· Governance mechanisms to ensure effective implementation of 7CPA

Your Contacts – Today’s fix for tomorrow’s issues. Industry Panel session

  • Facilitator: Daniel Manuel

This was another stand out session that generated a lot of talk afterwards. It certainly was very brave of the WA, AMA president to be part of this panel discussion. The debates were “robust” and certainly highlighted the well-publicised differences that exist between pharmacy and the AMA. The collaboration between pharmacy and doctors on the ground in our experience has always been very productive. Despite the differences at a political level, it was good the see at the end of the discussion the parties acknowledging there is a great need to work more closely together for the benefit of public health.

4 Pillar’s of stress

Presenter:: Paul Rowe

Paul Rowe is a business and finance broker specialising in pharmacy. His presentation discussed the main pillars of stress when owning a pharmacy. He provided detailed examples and share his perspective on various matters.

The main topics he covered were:

1. Lease Negotiation

2. Financing

3. Debt

4. COGS Inventory Management

5. Trading terms

6. Staff

He highlighted how in today’s market its not negotiable to not be working in or on your pharmacy. There is the ongoing rise of online & other competitors, issues with landlords and supermarkets.

One key take away from the presentation in relation to financing is understanding what you’re paying for then also understanding what you’re paying. Another key point from this presentation is to always be prepared and know what could go wrong. That way you are prepared for the future.

Lastly, in the late afternoon there was the breakout sessions and John was one of three presenters.

John hosted a session on KPI reporting and trend analysis. We won’t share too much more on the presentation as John is currently writing a KPI blog, stay tuned.

Next week we will be sharing Day Two.