Non-prescription medications play vital role for pharmacy sustainability

14 March 2014

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14 March 2014 - The Australian Self Medication Industry said that the non-prescription medications industry and 'front of shop' can play a vital role in improving the sustainability of pharmacies. These comments were made by ASMI President, Mark Sargent, at the Pharmacy Guild's Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference.
"The over-the counter (OTC) sector has increasingly out-paced total pharmaceutical growth over the last four years," explained Sargent. "Vitamins, cough cold and pain categories dominate 'front of shop' as the lead categories.

"The key 'front of shop' opportunities include the growing role of vitamins, minerals and supplements (VMS) in health management, the underleveraged potential of the schedule 3 category and the evolution of pharmacy into a health destination.

"Last year we saw VMS outperform the traditional OTC segment - pain - as the leading non-prescription category. VMS continues to grow at accelerated rates over other categories and reflects the consumer's shift to wellness and prevention.
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"Schedule 3 is also an underleveraged schedule in pharmacy. Creating consumer awareness about therapeutic options in this schedule provides pharmacy with further growth opportunities." Sargent quotes a shift in mindset in pharmacy, with a majority of pharmacists now supporting an 'infomercial style' approach to consumer advertising of a select group of S3 products, according to the UTS Pharmacy Barometer report.
"Pharmacy is evolving into a health destination. This is driving a shift of focus from dispensary to 'front of shop', from transactional exchanges to a service and counselling orientation. We are seeing valuable work undertaken by the various pharmacy associations to help provide pharmacy with the right framework to move forward with this new pharmacy model. Industry looks forward to partnering with pharmacy to assist in supporting a changed model of pharmacy practice in which the pharmacist is repositioned as a primary healthcare provider and the pharmacy as a healthcare destination," Sargent said.
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About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines. Its members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn self care market. Membership totals 60 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 17,000 people with exports estimated at $600 million annually. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy. www.asmi.com.au

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
M:0408 256 381 E: marie@asmi.com.au