Author: Shirin Haklar – Marsh Tincknell – Brisbane Health & Pharmacy Accounting Division
There’s no record anywhere of Jerry Seinfeld having ever completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy, but pharmacists looking to improve the profitability of their practice could do worse than listen to the wisdom-waxing Comedian.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the skit where Seinfeld lets fly at the industry. Among his observations, he questions why Pharmacists have to be two and half feet higher than everyone else in the store.
“Clear out everybody, I’m working with pills back here! I’m taking them from this BIG bottle and I’m going to put them in a LITTLE bottle,” he muses facetiously, answering his own question.
“That’s my whole job. I can’t be down there on the floor with you people.”
Like him or not, Jerry has a point. The most important person in the store (and the one that customers actually want to talk to) is tucked away out back, often two and half feet higher than everyone else, and is largely not accessible.
Having been a pharmacist for 15 years and Accountant in Brisbane for 5 years more, I’ve acquired an acute appreciation of the profit drivers in the industry.
There’s no question that recent trends and legislation have placed the pharmacy world under significant pressure. Particularly for small and independent pharmacies, the accelerated PBS price disclosure and price cuts, strong competition from discount outlets e.g. Chemist Warehouse, co-payment discounts, the reduction of wholesale discounts and generic rebates have combined to erode margins and net profit.
So, rather than dwell on what you can’t control, focus on what you can influence. A good starting point is to think progressively and holistically about your business.
Dr. Jerry’s diagnosis is right on the money. Get the “King of the Pharmacy Castle” off their throne and down on the shop floor where they can help customers. Let the pharmacist engage with customers to deliver real health outcomes.
And what can you expect in return for adopting this progressive arrangement? Clients who have changed the workflow of their dispensary to ensure that a pharmacist can be available to hand out every prescription and all scheduled medicine sales. They have each increased their customer base, and ultimately their net profit.
Author: Shirin Haklar – Marsh Tincknell – Accountants Brisbane
Shirin Haklar is an Accountant at Marsh Tincknell Accountants specializing in Pharmacy Accounting with 15 years’ experience as a Pharmacy Manager. With experience at Pitcher Pharmacy, she brings in depth knowledge and strategy to the Accounting for Pharmacy specialization. Shirin holds a Diploma in Accounting, a Bachelor of Pharmacy and DMAS accreditation from the Australian Association of Consultant Pharmacy.
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