Job losses predicted in community pharmacy

2 Apr, 2014

reference :

A national survey of pharmacies has found that nearly 9,000 pharmacy jobs will be lost in the next
12 months because of cuts to pharmacy revenue.

The predicted job losses include 2,229 pharmacists and 4,400 pharmacy assistants. This equates to
more than 10% of professionally trained pharmacy staff working in community pharmacies across
Australia. These figures do not include job losses that have already occurred, with a previous
Guild report showing that pharmacies have shed some 3,200 staff in the past 12 months.

The new survey conducted by the Pharmacy Guild reveals the employment intentions over the
next 12 months of 944 pharmacies, representing 17.6% of the total industry, including 24.9% from
rural areas and 20% of the 425 single pharmacy towns.

The survey results also show that more than half of all pharmacies will be reducing pharmacist
hours and over two thirds will be reducing pharmacy assistant hours in the next twelve months.

As the Government reduces PBS prices for off-patent medicines through price disclosure,
pharmacies are directly impacted through reduced government funding for mark-up and the loss
of trading terms. This has been exacerbated by Simplified Price Disclosure, announced on the eve
of the last Federal election, without any consultation or recognition of its flow-on impact on
pharmacy remuneration.

The Guild estimates that pharmacy gross profits will fall by an average of $90,000 in 2014-15 due
to price disclosure. As a result, many pharmacies are being forced to reduce staff to remain viable.

The Executive Director of the Pharmacy Guild, David Quilty, said: “This survey paints a worrying
picture for employment in community pharmacy. While the Guild and pharmacies strongly
support the Government getting maximum value for money from the PBS, recent changes to price
disclosure are having a very real impact on hard-working pharmacy professionals and the patients
they serve.”

Community pharmacy is Australia’s most accessible and frequently used health care destination.
Every year, there are around 300 million pharmacy visits with about 65,000 trained professionals
supplying medicines and providing a wide range of patient care services, support and advice.

Employment Snapshot – next 12 months
8,993 jobs lost across the sector including:
2,229 pharmacist jobs
4,400 pharmacy assistant
69% of pharmacies reducing staff hours.
3,200 jobs already lost in 2013

Jobs lost per state:
124 3,026 53 1,795 721 238 2,105 931

The full survey results are available in the news section at:

Media inquiries: Greg Turnbull 0412 910261