Story written March 2013.
Australian pharmacies must prepare for yet another profit blow, as supermarkets stock medicinal products. Starting from April, Australia’s leading stores will attempt to collect an increasing part of the annual $9 billion per year pharmaceutical sector. Self-medication, and ill-advice will arise as great problems.
Johnson & Johnson Pacific will launch iconic pharmaceutical products, Sudafed and Codral in the grocery channel. These mediations will not contain the regular scheduled doses found in a pharmacy, but should act as a mere sub-therapeutic.
Pharmacists and trained healthcare professionals seek to give patients quality medical care, including the correct medication advice. Supermarkets cannot offer healthcare. Pharmacist Hugh Ada, proprietor of Ada and Flynn Pharmacy, Grafton, asks, “How many people now buy their medication for coughs, colds, pain, warts, acne, tinea from supermarkets without having the ability to ask somebody who knows what they are talking about? Checkout-chicks have no formal training.”
“Coles and Woolworths see pharma cies as the only small business that they don’t yet control. They’ve taken over bakeries, butchers, petrol stations, liquor stores, and newsagencies. The only thing left is pharmacies. And if they stock unscheduled medications, they will. Supermarkets aren’t interested in an individual’s health; they’re interested in their wallet.”
With an ageing population, Australia relies on medications for common problems including diabetes and high cholesterol. Patients should consult medical professions before self-medicating, as drug-interaction can be a serious detriment to ones health.