In my last C+D blog, I talked about how many of the senior managers from different pharmacy businesses seem to have moved between companies in the past couple of years.
One thing that this senior manager merry-go-round does bring, is a reduction in the differences between companies. It feels to me that there is much less variation now between the main multiples than there was 10 years ago.
Novel ideas and good practices from each company now seem to cross-fertilise much faster – even the pharmacies themselves now seem to look more and more similar. I'm not sure if that’s a good thing.
At a recent local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) event in my patch, organised to help contractors navigate the new world of quality payments, I was listening to groups of pharmacists and managers from other multiples discussing what they had been asked to do by their companies. It was hard to see any differences in their approaches. Where once the results might have been the same for each company, the path to it would often vary tremendously. Now it feels like the path everyone is following is much the same – and I don’t think it needs to be.
I predict something interesting will happen later this year though. With this homogeneous approach to ensuring pharmacies receive their quality payments, I am curious to see at which point (and from which company) the first squeals and accusations of downward management pressure come from. Given that the amount of money at stake per pharmacy is equivalent to around half a year’s worth of medicines use reviews (MURs), I am sure that the bean counters will be setting expectations for securing these payments from their pharmacies.
We all remember the noise around MUR pressures not so long ago. I am sure that pharmacists and their managers are already wondering how their employer and their area manager will react to something happening to jeopardise this income stream.
After all, at some stage one of them will fail to achieve their target.
The Area Manager has worked for all of the large multiples