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Community Pharmacy in 2025

What will community pharmacies look like in Australia in 2025?

What differences will there be in the way pharmacies deliver medicines and services to patients, and in the way pharmacies are integrated into the wider health system?

These are two of the many questions being addressed in a Pharmacy Guild strategic planning project into the future of community pharmacy to 2025 and beyond.

In its Community Pharmacy 2025 (CP2025) project, the Guild intends to develop a vision and a plan to enable community pharmacies to have a sustainable, longer-term future as an integral part of the Australian health care system, serving the needs of increasingly empowered patients and health consumers.

As part of the project the Guild is consulting with a range of stakeholders, including peak health organisations, the broader pharmacy sector, patient representatives, digital health and technology experts, retailing experts, the small business sector, education and training providers, regulators, think tanks and those involved in shaping pharmacist professional practice and standards.

Among the key questions being posed by the project are:

  • What will be the most profound changes to Australia’s health system between now and 2025?
  • What will consumers most want from their community pharmacy in 2025?
  • How will the provision of medicines and medication management in 2025 differ from today?
  • What additional patient services are community pharmacies likely to be delivering in 2025?
  • What will be the major workforce and skills requirements of community pharmacies in 2025?
  • How will community pharmacies integrate with the broader health system in 2025?
  • How will technological advances and data impact community pharmacy between now and 2025?

What pharmacist professional practice changes are needed to secure the future of community pharmacy in 2025?

After a competitive tendering process, the Guild appointed Pottinger as its strategic adviser on the project. Pottinger is a Sydney-based strategic consulting firm, which has worked successfully with businesses, government and other organisations in Australia and internationally.

Qualitative and quantitative market research for the project – focussing on patients, pharmacists and pharmacy staff – is being conducted by Orima Research.

The National President of the Pharmacy Guild, George Tambassis, said: “CP2025 is a major research undertaking by the Guild in recognition of the need to identify and anticipate multiple changing factors in our health system and in our community.

“Around the world, there is growing evidence that allowing pharmacists to practise at the top of their professional skills can take pressure off the wider health system and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions. Pharmacists can help manage the causes of hospitalisation and relieve pressure on overworked GPs.

“Equally, around the world, health systems are harnessing the accessibility and professional capacity of community pharmacies in treating readily diagnosable minor ailments, undertaking screening and risk assessments, and driving medicines compliance through continued dispensing and prescription renewal, which in turn are enabling doctors to concentrate on the coordinated care of patients with complex chronic health conditions who are most at risk of hospitalisation.

“We hope CP2025 will make a significant contribution towards our understanding of these trends and our capacity to ensure the potential of community pharmacies is fully realised for the benefit of patients,” Mr Tambassis said.

Additional information on the CP2025 project is available here.

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