Jane Orr is Managing Director of Mundipharma Australia, but she is also a pharmacist, which gives her a unique perspective on community pharmacy. Although Mundipharma has traditionally had a strong prescription-medicines portfolio, it has recently diversified its business by investing in consumer health. The company is excited about its plans and shared the following with Retail Pharmacy.
As a pharmacist yourself, what do you think some of the key challenges are that pharmacists are facing today?
Pharmacists in Australia are facing many challenges, both in front of and behind the counter. Efforts by the Government to curtail the cost of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will continue to have an impact on pharmaceutical dispensing revenue. Pharmacists and pharmacy owners are caught in the struggle to remain price competitive while providing the much-needed clinical advice that is highly valued by patients and
customers. The local pharmacy is increasingly becoming the trusted provider of health advice, and to assist with the medical management of chronic conditions can be a challenge but is also a great opportunity.
Mundipharma is well established in the prescription market. Why have you decided to expand into consumer health?
Much like pharmacies are diversifying their business, Mundipharma is also diversifying. We’ve always worked closely with pharmacists as a dispenser, and will now also be able to do so for over the counter products. Prescription medicine will continue to be a core and integral part of our business, but as pharmacies are increasingly being sought out for their health management services, we’ve decided to expand our relationship with community
pharmacies to the front of store. The addition of the consumer health business is expected to drive incremental revenue growth and help realise our vision of providing a trusted healthcare product for every Australian. We aim to provide pharmacists with innovative products that deliver a proven patient benefit so they can become category leaders.
Pharmacists will know Mundipharma’s prescription products. What can we expect to see from Mundipharma in consumer health?
Our full range of consumer health products brings the science of nature to first-aid treatment, as it contains purified melaleuca oil sourced in Australia from an ISO certified plantation in northern NSW. All our current consumer health products are specifically formulated to treat, relieve and protect the skin when minor burns, bites, rashes, stings, itches, cuts and abrasions occur. We understand the business challenges that pharmacists are facing today and want our new range of products to contribute to the growth of pharmacy revenue.
Already being extensively used by paramedics, our products can be recommended with confidence, resulting in repeat purchases. Take wound care, for example. It is already a significant category for pharmacy and we expect it to play an even bigger role in the future, driven by an ageing population as well as the increased incidence of diabetes. Our research has shown that shoppers as well as pharmacists are hungry for information around this. Another example is burns. A vast majority of burns happen in the home, but the majority of consumers don’t know how to treat a burn correctly. With our Burnaid brand, we’re proud to be partnering with pharmacies to recommend the right product, but most importantly, educate consumers about correct burns treatment. The consumer health space is new and exciting for us, and we’ll be expanding our range with products that deliver proven benefits to patients.
Mundipharma is a major sponsor of APP in 2016. What can we expect to see from Mundipharma there?
We’re very proud to be a major sponsor of APP. It’s a great forum for us to connect with pharmacists and showcase what we have to offer as a total Mundipharma business, both in the consumer and ethical markets. As part of our ongoing commitment to education, we’re sponsoring an education event on burns first-aid treatment.
In addition to the educational component, we’re also looking forward to showcasing our Burnaid, Rapaid and Woundaid brand, and hopefully sharing some exciting innovation news.
Given that the front of store is becoming increasingly important for pharmacists, what will Mundipharma do to help pharmacies drive growth?
Working in partnership with healthcare professionals, our ultimate aim is to improve patient care and quality of life. Education and innovation both play a key role in this. We believe there’s a significant opportunity to further educate consumers, but also to educate pharmacists and pharmacy assistants to help them improve patient outcomes.
Supporting the professional development of Australian healthcare professionals by supplying access to accredited education programs has always been an area of prime importance for Mundipharma. Our educational programs already service hundreds of healthcare professionals across Australia, providing practical resources and clinical tools to support their day-to-day practice activities.
Although currently mainly focused on GPs and branching out to nurse practitioners, we will be leveraging our internal resources to develop new educational programs and tools in the burn and wound-care spaces. Innovation will also play a critical role in supporting pharmacists, as we strongly believe there’s always a way to better deliver against a shopper’s need. We will be challenging ourselves to find new ways of supporting pharmacists, taking the initiative and creating opportunities, pushing the boundaries of innovation to market products with a significant edge, driving increased traffic to pharmacies.
Source: Retail Pharmacy, November edition.