The final Forefronteer

In his final Forefront column, retiring Pharmacy Guild Executive Director David Quilty has made some important parting observations.

Forefront is an open Guild publication with more than 13,000 (free) subscribers and for six years Mr Quilty’s whole-of-sector approach has provided a channel for patient groups and industry representatives to communicate their public interest messages.

In his final column, Mr Quilty acknowledged the positive and constructive feedback his columns have engendered, and also thanked the broader pharmacy media for its generous reporting of his columns, providing access to a much wider audience.

“Pharmacy is very well served by its industry publications, which provide excellent coverage of the key issues, along with intelligent commentary and a clear commitment to the betterment of the profession and the sector,” he said.

Mr Quilty then addressed a topic about which he has always been passionate.

“If I were to make a parting observation,” he wrote, “it would be that we should be incredibly proud of the role that pharmacies and pharmacists play in the health system and we have a collective responsibility to positively demonstrate and promote our value.

“While there are always challenges, there is so much to be positive about. The pharmacist profession is incredibly trusted and community pharmacies are the most accessible and frequently accessed part of the health system.

“Every day, there are examples of pharmacists and pharmacies inspiring us by making a genuine difference in people’s lives, often without recognition or remuneration. We need to be telling these stories as positive advocates for our sector.”

Mr Quilty also reminded his readers that CP2025 market research clearly shows that the public wants pharmacists and pharmacies to do more.

“The task is to successfully get the message, that pharmacy and pharmacists are undervalued and underutilised, across to funders, policymakers and regulators,” he wrote.

“There are demonstrable unmet patient needs and more than sufficient evidence – both from Australia and internationally – of the health benefits of enhancing the role of pharmacies and pharmacists.

“There is no valid reason why pharmacists should not be allowed to practise to the full extent of their professional capabilities or that the sector should not have equitable access to the remuneration that is available to other health providers to deliver the same services.

“Working together and with a concerted effort in pursuit of common goals, success in delivering pharmacy and pharmacist practice enhancements is eminently achievable.”

Mr Quilty has assured his readers he will continue to be an interested onlooker cheering the sector’s successes from the sidelines.

His final Forefront column can be viewed in full here.

Pam Price has been appointed Interim Executive Director and, as a Guild executive since 2016 working in various key roles, she will ensure there is a seamless transition.