Actavis opens €5,000 fund for chemists
Nick Hewer, of 'The Apprentice' TV fame in the UK, has launched a bursary scheme on behalf of generics medicine company Actavis to protect small Irish chemists from the looming threat of chain pharmacies.
The €5,000 bursary was set up to prepare pharmacists with business knowledge in areas like HR and marketing.
Winning pharmacies will also be granted two days training with Newstalk's Down to Business host Bobby Kerr.
Entrants have been asked to provide a 500-word overview of the future of their pharmacy business and how it will evolve over the next five years to better service staff, customers and the wider community.
The money awarded can be spent on any subject related to the business of pharmacy.
Mr Hewer said with a reduction in medicine prices and increased competitions, pharmacists must now look at diversifying their offering more than ever before.
"The local pharmacist is a vital element of the fabric of communities around Ireland and there are many lessons that can be learnt from the retail and other sectors to enhance the customer experience," he said.
"Through the Actavis Academy Training & Mentoring Bursary, pharmacists will be able to avail of training and mentoring in order to upskill their teams for future growth."
Actavis has taken the partnership approach with pharmacists and has developed the bursary as a result of interviews and research of chemists in Ireland that are facing increased pressures from tighter margins.
Managing director Tony Hynds said the company is encouraging all pharmacists to apply for the scheme. "Actavis is committed to competition in the Irish market and a leaner, faster, stronger model built on service reliability and excellent customer service. As part of this we strive to support all facets of pharmacy in Ireland," he said.
As well as the company overview, entrants must outline their training requirement and how it will contribute to the firm's five year vision.
The bursary will be judged by Actavis head of regulatory affairs Mary O'Meara, Bobby Kerr and Irish Pharmacy Union president Daragh Connolly.