Do you need a banner group to thrive?

Few topics are likely to get pharmacy owners as fired up as a debate about the pros and cons of banner groups.

But an APP2017 panel discussion on the topic was more warm and fuzzy than fiery, despite the provocative promise to explore whether the groups wield too much power.

One firm fan of the groups is Lucy Walker (pictured), owner of the Pharmacy of the Year. She says she would never have succeeded in rural Queensland without one.

When she bought her Goodiwndi pharmacy, she tried to continue as an independent. But she struggled to build her professional services program until she became part of the Chemmart group.

She said she would not have won the award if she was not part of a banner group.

For example, before she joined Chemmart no-one in sleep apnea would talk to her because she was too small. “I was a little pharmacy in the middle of no-where.”

Pharmacy Guild