Pharmacies are set to open across Australia in 2020 with some expected to operate in the same spaces as supermarkets, supermarkets are planning to open pharmacies in the suburbs and the inner-city, as well as expanding to remote rural areas.
Pharmacy chains have long been seen as the next big growth driver for Australia, but the government’s latest financial projections suggest there is no need to worry about opening new branches as the industry is expected to grow by at least 10 per cent per year.
The government says it will continue to encourage the development of pharmacy services by ensuring the availability of qualified pharmacists and the use of telehealth services to promote health and wellbeing.
The first pharmacies to open will be those in metropolitan Sydney, with further locations planned in regional areas, in Melbourne and regional Victoria, and in Queensland.
The state government’s plan is to open two or three new pharmacies per year for each of the next three years, with the majority of those opening in the second half of 2020.
The National Pharmacy Strategy is a joint venture between the Department of Health and the Department for Education and Employment.
It provides a framework for the development and operation of pharmacies, including advice on the proper pharmacare prescription, staffing and quality control.
The strategy also includes advice on how to promote access to and uptake of pharmacy benefits, including access to pharmacy services through telehealth.
This is the first time a national strategy has been developed for pharmacy services in Australia.
The scheme aims to provide a consistent national approach and a clear and coherent national strategy for pharmacy in Australia, with a shared focus on providing access to pharmacare benefits, supporting pharmacy education and improving the provision of pharmacy for people with low or moderate incomes.
The NPS also provides a comprehensive set of policies to support the establishment of pharmacare services in all states and territories.