April 2002 issue Pharmacy Today magazine
PROCARE PHARMACY CLOSES DOWN
ProCare Pharmacy Limited is winding down after disappointing results in its first year.
ProCare Pharmacy former general manager Mark Vella said the initiative was too expensive to run, and membership had remained static since the company was set up a year ago with five Unichem, two Amcal and five independent pharmacies.
Independent pharmacist director on the ProCare Pharmacy board Stephen Walker (Birkenhead Amcal Pharmacy, Auckland) suggested reasons for the company's lack of success could include membership price resistance from pharmacists, and doctors' ambivalence or negative attitude to the concept.
Pharmacies paid a $2000 joining fee and monthly fees of between $150 and $350, while doctors paid no fees on the grounds they already belonged to ProCare.
ProCare Pharmacy was a joint venture between ProCare IPA, Zuellig Pharma and Unichem.
The loss of the organisation is a missed opportunity for pharmacists, doctors and patients, said Stephen Walker. Pharmacists need better relationships with doctors, and this step removed a formal avenue to develop that opportunity, he said.
ProCare Pharmacy recorded a 'modest deficit' for the year to June 2001, according to ProCare Pharmacy chairman Kerry Stotter, in the 2001 ProCare annual report. The loss was attributed to the organisation's start-up costs. However, the report also noted that members' entrance and annual management fees did not adequately fund activities.
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