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29 October 2018

The Hearing Advantage

During the month of Oct, more than 70 Advantage Pharmacies around Australia partnered with Australian Hearing to deliver a national hearing check campaign.Almost 500 adults were given a free hearing test screening. More than one third of those tested were subsequently referred to their local hearing clinic for further testing due to identified hearing loss.

7 September 2018

Pharmacies Help Bale Out Farmers

The PHARMforFarm fundraiser has been hailed a success, with funds to be donated to a hay-providing charityAdvantage Group has raised $12,000 for farmers, which will enable the charity BuyaBale to send one semi-trailer load of hay (worth $9,500) and 25 extra bales of hay to drought-stricken farmers across Australia.Seventeen retail pharmacies across the Group rallied together last week to hold #PHARMforFarm fancy-dress fundraisers, with the objective of raising awareness around the drought situation and how this is impacting Australian farmers, while raising much needed funds to help them.

7 September 2018


Advantage Pharmacy Group has raised $12,000 for farmers, which will enable the BuyaBale charity to send one semi-trailer load of hay and 25 extra bales of hay to desperate, drought-stricken farmers across Australia.With many Advantage Pharmacies affected by the drought, 17 retail pharmacies across the group rallied together last week to hold #PHARMforFarm fancy-dress fundraisers with the objective of raising awareness around the drought situation and how this is impacting Australian farmers, while raising much needed funds to help them.

6 September 2018

So, What Does a Pharmacist Actually Do?

A pharmacist is in charge of correctly dispensing prescription medications, which means they need to be well-informed, thorough, and on top of their game at all times.As you can imagine, this kind of role allows little room for error. And because of that, and you won’t be surprised to learn this - you’ll be spending several years in college before you start your career.As Melbourne, Australia-based pharmacist Montana Grenfell says, when you become a pharmacist, “the community automatically places the highest level of trust in you. You need to be prepared for this, as it can be a tremendous feeling of responsibility.”

5 September 2018

Pharmacies Dig Deep for Farmers

Drought-stricken farmers will receive much-needed feed for their stock thanks to community pharmacists who raised enough money to pay for a semi-trailer load of hay plus an extra 25 bales.Seventeen pharmacies in the Advantage Group staged a fundraising day for BuyaBale, with staff dressing up as cowboys and cowgirls.They ran raffles and sausage sizzles, and popped BuyaBale fundraising tins on the register, raising $12,000.

21 July 2018

New Partnership for Advantage

Advantage Pharmacy Group has formed a joint venture partnership with Arana PharmaceuticalsThe new partnership will enable the group to add increased warehousing and distribution facilities for its more than 200 independent pharmacies across Australia, it says.The strategic move by the Advantage Group is hoped to enhance its service to its current 38 member pharmacies in Queensland, while continuing to provide outstanding service to Arana’s pharmacy clients in the state.

13 July 2018

Shortage Proves Pharmacy's Worth

Advantage Pharmacy says that it has experienced “overwhelming” demand for flu vaccines across its network of stores this winter. This consumer demand has proven that pharmacists are an integral part of the provision of professional and convenient primary health care. Data from a sample of 29 Advantage Pharmacies, of its 200 membership, shows a 161% increase in demand for the vaccine compared to last year, with May being the most popular month to be immunised. The increase in awareness of the importance of flu vaccinations via the media and word of mouth has, however, led to some supply issues, Advantage says.

30 April 2018

What drives trust and loyalty among pharmacy customers?

Survey gives insights into a changing market. Customers who trust a pharmacy with their personal information are more likely to become loyal shoppers, according to survey results that will be presented at APP18. Almost one-third of customers rate this trust as one of the most important reasons for their loyalty. Commissioned by Advantage Pharmacy, the survey also shows pharmacy customers have a much stronger emotional connection to pharmacies than other retail stores. One-quarter agreed with this description of loyalty: “Missing the pharmacy if it were gone.”

5 April 2018

Loyalty expert to share what pharmacists DON’T know about their customers’ loyalty

Melbourne based Founder and CEO of The Point of Loyalty, Adam Posner will share some insights into the recent study “Across The Counter – Customer Loyalty & The Pharmacy” at APP. With increasing competition, downward pressure on margins, and consumers who have maximum choice on where to purchase their health products and services, what are the levers to motivate customer loyalty? The session will reveal the latest results and insights from an industry wide independent research study on customer loyalty to the pharmacy – from the point of view of both consumers and pharmacists.

14 March 2018

Priceline GM takes Advantage

ADVANTAGE Pharmacy Group has announced the appointment of Lynne Gallucci to the Advantage Group board as a non-executive chairperson. Gallucci has 10 years’ experience as the executive gm of Retail Operations for Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy and has an accounting background. Advantage ceo Steven Kastrinakis said that given the growth of Advantage and future strategy, the board had decided that it was the right time to bring in a non-executive chair to help the company scale sustainably while aggressively pursuing market share in an increasingly tough and competitive landscape.

13 March 2018

Advantage Pharmacy mulls entry into Singapore, UAE, New Zealand through JVs, CEO says

Advantage Pharmacy Group, a privately owned Australian pharmacy franchisor, is looking to expand into Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and New Zealand in the next two to three years via joint venture (JV) partnerships, said Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Steven Kastrinakis. The Hallam, Victoria-based company, which operates a franchise model with 180 pharmacies across Australia, sees the overseas expansion, particularly into Asia, as part of its medium-term strategy and is receptive to approaches from parties that can bring in JV opportunities, ...

4 December 2017

Pharmacy with stories to tell

An iconic retail outlet in the centre of Omeo recently shut down without fuss or fanfare after nearly 100 years standing prominently on the main strip. It was a quiet departure, which did not reflect the part that the Advantage Pharmacy Omeo Depot played in the rich history of the town. The depot has survived multiple bushfires, scandals and a murder mystery, which has since been turned into a famous historical novel, Lottie. When Ethel Griggs died suddenly in January 1928, rumours about her husband’s blatant affair with Lottie, the lovely 20-year-old daughter of local grazier and Methodist elder, were rife.

13 March 2018

Advantage Appointment

Advantage Pharmacy Group has announced the appointment of Lynne Gallucci to the Board as a Non-Executive Chairperson Ms Gallucci has ten years’ experience working as the Executive GM of Retail Operations for Priceline and Priceline Pharmacy and has an accounting background. Advantage says she brings big-picture thinking, mixed with excellent analytical and communication skills to the new role. The appointment comes at a time when the group has had strong growth, with a 28% uplift in independently owned and operated pharmacies in six months.

26 February 2018

Out of Stocks, Misperceptions Hit Patients

Pharmacists and consumers are frustrated at the gap between supply and demand for low-dose codeine – and consumers are still confused Advantage Pharmacy CEO Steven Kastrinakis told the AJP that discussions he has had with the group’s pharmacies since the first of the month have centred on out of stock frustration and misunderstandings among patients. He said that the feedback he’s had indicates that a significant group of consumers believed that all analgesics were being upscheduled on February 1, not just those containing low doses of codeine.

13 February 2018

New framework phase-in

PHARMACY interns’ assessment based on the revised National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia 2016 (PD 01 Jun 2017) has been timelined in a joint announcement from the Pharmacy Board of Australia and the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC). Rather than being implemented immediately, current and future interns along with training providers and other stakeholders have been advised that all pharmacy intern written and oral examinations conducted from 01 Jan 2019, as part of the Board’s registration examination, ...

20 December 2017

What It Means to be an Early Career Pharmacist

If you’ve ever questioned where your career can take you, this is for you. If you’re an intern, this article is for you. If you’re a student, this article is for you. Because honestly, your career is what YOU make of it. Yes, we all have a B.Pharm or M.Pharm but that doesn’t mean your only choice is Community Pharmacy or Hospital Pharmacy. Yesterday I was honoured to give a short talk at the ‘Welcome to the Profession’ brunch organised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Victorian branch.

29 November 2017

Why all PBS drugs should be available from CSO wholesalers

This month, we have seen the rollout of AstraZeneca’s direct-to-pharmacy (DTP) distribution model for nine of its major products in Australia. This makes AstraZeneca the second major pharmaceutical company to adopt the DTP model in Australia, following Pfizer. The DTP model was first introduced in January 2011 when Pfizer Direct became Australia’s first exclusive distribution channel, supplying community pharmacies with around 13% of all PBS medicines. Disrupting the old model. Historically, ...

29 November 2017

The Move Towards Direct Supply is a Disaster, Says Banner Group CEO

Steven Kastrinakis is more concerned than most about the move by pharma companies towards direct supply. As the CEO of an independent banner group Advantage Pharmacy, he's been monitoring the impact on more than 150 dispensaries. He’s so concerned that other manufacturers will follow AstraZenca, Amgen and Pfizer’s lead that he’s written to Minister for Health Greg Hunt. He wants the minister to make it compulsory for PBS medicines to be available through CSO wholesalers.

5 December 2017

How Amazon Could Influence Govt Pharmacy Decisions

On Tuesday, December 5, Amazon, which has for some time operated a digital bookstore and streaming service, began offering physical products from an Australian base in a move which has been carefully watched by the retail sector. And its arrival could mean trouble down the track for unprepared retailers, including pharmacy, warns CEO of Advantage Pharmacy, Steven Kastrinakis. “Amazon’s arrival in Australia has the potential to change Australian consumer behaviour by encouraging more online shopping,” he says.

22 November 2017

How New Codeine Laws Will Affect Our Rural Communities

Rural and regional pharmacists need to act now to smoothe the codeine upschedule transition, writes Steven Kastrinakis. From 1 February 2018, medicines containing codeine will no longer be available from pharmacies in Australia without a prescription. The government’s decision to change the way patients can access codeine-containing products will certainly impact a large number of Australians requiring Over-The-Counter (OTC) pain relief. In particular, the changes may impact rural and regional communities to a greater extent.