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Res Social Adm Pharm. 2014 Mar-Apr;10(2):459-68. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2013.05.010. Epub 2013 Jun 29.

Future-proofing the pharmacy profession in a hypercompetitive market.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Asia Pacific Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address:
School of Pharmacy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; School of Clinical Sciences, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.


This paper highlights the hypercompetitive nature of the current pharmacy landscape in Australia and to suggest either a superior level of differentiation strategy or a focused differentiation strategy targeting a niche market as two viable, alternative business models to cost leadership for small, independent community pharmacies. A description of the Australian health care system is provided as well as background information on the current community pharmacy environment in Australia. The authors propose a differentiation or focused differentiation strategy based on cognitive professional services (CPS) which must be executed well and of a superior quality to competitors' services. Market research to determine the services valued by target customers and that they are willing to pay for is vital. To achieve the superior level of quality that will engender high patient satisfaction levels and loyalty, pharmacy owners and managers need to develop, maintain and clearly communicate service quality specifications to the staff delivering these services. Otherwise, there will be a proliferation of pharmacies offering the same professional services with no evident service differential. However, to sustain competitive advantage over the long-term, these smaller, independent community pharmacies will need to exploit a broad core competency base in order to be able to continuously introduce new sources of competitive advantage. With the right expertise, the authors argue that smaller, independent community pharmacies can successfully deliver CPS and sustain profitability in a hypercompetitive market.


Community pharmacy; Differentiation; Hypercompetition; Hypercompetitive pharmacy market; Pharmacy; Professional services; Strategy

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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