The 5th Pharmacy Business Conference entitled ‘Your Pharmacy, Your Future’ was held over two sessions on the evenings of Nov 24th and 26. The first session on Tuesday looked at NHS expectations around improved pharmacy efficiency and what the sector needed to change to remain relevant to its paymaster.

In his speech, Simon Dukes, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, announced a range of regulatory dispensations his team had been seeking to give pharmacy teams the freedom they need to prioritise patient-facing services and shared his frustrations with government officials not doing enough to support the sector.

His remarks were followed by an insightful panel discussion which involved three outstanding community pharmacy contractors – Reena Barai, Mike Hewitson and Aneet Kapoor – who took on challenging questions from the audience to highlight the need for the sector to differentiate itself from the likes of online pharmacies by adding value to patient outcomes in line with NHS expectations. Our panellists also highlighted the need to upskill the workforce by embracing technology and putting an end to a ‘race to the bottom’ by making free service provisions in community pharmacy.

The second session on Thursday explored how the sector should respond to the required changes and what the drivers and enablers were to make those changes happen.

Sanjay Ganvir from the innovative Green Light Pharmacy group spoke about how maximising digital patient interaction helped him to operationalise services such as flu vaccination more efficiently, and Sunil Kochhar – an independent prescriber and consultant pharmacist at Regent Pharmacy in Kent – explained how he utilised technology to improve outcomes for both his patients and the pharmacy.

While Andy Chilton from Velresco group shared his expertise on creating more time by identifying efficiencies and improving productivity in pharmacies, pharmacy veteran Deborah Evans expanded on how that time could be best utilised by creating a business plan towards a sustainable future.

This was followed by a panel discussion which saw four prominent pharmacy leaders debate the future of pharmacy during which the emphasised how the sector could leverage the accolades it has earned during the Covid-19 crisis. The focus was on maintaining a competitive advantage over the likes of Amazon Pharmacy by focussing more on patient-facing roles as well as building a future based on optimising NHS services, growing the OTC business and leveraging on the government’s selfcare agenda on the back of the currently running Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and other CPCF services.


Conference Session One