Digital Health Healthcare

Pharmacies turn to digital tech amid dispensing changes


A new report from Commonwealth Bank, University of Technology Sydney and IQVIA reveals pharmacies are adopting technology to improve operations and manage costs due to upcoming 60-day dispensing rules.

The CommBank Pharmacy Insights 2023 report shows pharmacy confidence reached record highs in late 2022 but declined sharply after the 60-day announcement.

CommBank Health CEO Albert Naffah said pharmacies are boosting digital capabilities, expanding services and evolving their scope of practice in response. “Digitisation is providing opportunities for pharmacies to create greater efficiencies in managing their day-to-day operations and implementing solutions to improve workflow and cost management,” Naffah said.

Half of pharmacies now offer more professional services like vaccinations, while a quarter have added product ranges, including vitamins, compounding medications, practitioner-only products, skincare and beauty and gifts

The annual UTS Community Pharmacy Barometer Index found confidence peaked at 146.8 in November 2022 amid optimism about business value and sector viability. But it dropped to 60.8 in May 2023 as pharmacies weighed uncertainty and lower projected earnings from dispensing changes starting September 2023.

Around 72% expect decreasing business value, versus 10% six months prior. One-third intend to add digital channels like click-and-collect and online purchasing.

Cybersecurity preparedness is lagging, concerning as digital popularity grows. Just 37% indicated preparedness to handle cyber threats in 2022.

Meanwhile, 74% report recruitment struggles amid pharmacist shortages. Most are increasing pay and flexibility to attract talent.

Download CommBank Pharmacy Insights 2023 to learn more.

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.


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