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Group, Account & Wholesaler Management:

Pharmacy Groups

There are over 80 pharmacy banner groups in the Australian market. Each banner group is different and can have different processes, methodologies and objectives. The main role of the banner groups is to increase the purchasing power for its members and provide economy of scale efficiencies in marketing and logistics. Typically, each banner group runs marketing programmes using various communication platforms such as catalogues, EDMs (electronic direct mails). They charge the suppliers for participating in these proportional events and in return, the supplier has access to its members to communicate about an upcoming promotional event where a sales team can generate orders from each store.  There are on a few groups national groups who may bulk purchase on behalf of their members, but in the majority most operate as described.

When a supplier agrees to or has the opportunity to participate in a marketing event such as a catalogue, it does not mean sales will automatically follow. In most cases, it is the responsibility of the supplier to contact each banner member of the respective group to advise them of an upcoming catalogue/event in which their products will be listed and present a promotional sales offer for the event. When the member participates and places an order. This is called a “Turn In” order and is then sent to a wholesaler (if the suppliers goods are ranged in the wholesaler) to be processed or, delivered directly to the store at an agreed date. There are a few groups with warehouses but more commonly, goods are delivered directly to the group member.


There are three majors Wholesalers in Australia. Namely:

  • Sigma
  • API (Australian Pharmaceutical Industries)
  • Symbion

All are located in Melbourne with warehouses nationally. All Pharmacies in Australia have at least one account with one of these wholesalers and most have accounts with all three. There are several other smaller wholesalers serving specific groups and pharmacies.

The Community Pharmacy Service Charter provides information on the rights of consumers and responsibilities of pharmacists, and the level of service consumers can expect to receive when visiting a community pharmacy. It allows patients, consumers, families, carers and community pharmacies to share an understanding of the rights of people receiving health care.

In doing so, it predicates certain responsibilities the wholesalers must provide in order to maintain and fulfil the charter such as providing timely and daily delivery services to all pharmacies regardless of the geographical location and ensuring all medications and services are available at all times.

The wholesalers have also grown to become large corporations providing many services. All have their own banner groups. Most other banner groups have allegiances with one of the main wholesalers and in return receive certain benefits and rebates from that wholesaler.

Many pharmacies prefer to source their goods from the wholesales for several reasons:

  • They receive volumes rebates
  • Wholesalers provide trading terms
  • Reduces the administration and paperwork
  • Easy to manage and order via internet.
  • Variant pack sizes and
  • Priority delivery.

Hence, being ranged in the wholesalers can lead to good sales, however in order to be ranged in the wholesalers a product or range must first have demand in the market. If a line is ranged, the wholesalers expect/demand the supplier to “pull through sales” with store representation through a field force.

PSA (Pharmasales Australia) Group, Account & Wholesaler Management

Each group can have numerous buyers managing different categories and most groups have a promotional and range review schedule. PSA manages the following:

  • Buyer management across all 80 or so groups
  • Maintains ongoing surveillance of the promotional landscape across all groups and all categories throughout the year
  • Meets and communicates with the groups and their buyers about new lines and promotional opportunities
  • Can leverage our total promotional spend with groups to present opportunities
  • Manage and suggest retail offers in the event of a promotional opportunity
  • Drive promotional opportunities across the groups
  • Meet a represent brands to the buyers across all groups at the appropriate times.
  • Liaise and manage the buyers in all the wholesalers seeking reviews and promotional programmes at the appropriate times.

Export Sales/Channel Management

ACEM (Australian Chinese Export Market)

In 2008 there was a scandal involving Chinese milk/Infant formula involving milk and infant formula along with other food materials and components being adulterated with melamine. Of an estimated 300,000 victims in China, six babies died from kidney stones and other kidney damage and an estimated 54,000 babies were hospitalized. The chemical gives the appearance of higher protein content when added to milk, leading to protein deficiency in the formula. In a separate incident four years prior, watered-down milk resulted in 12 infant deaths from malnutrition. The Chinese population lost faith in their own Infant/Milk formula industry.

As a result, Chinese ex-pats started to send infant formula back to China from Australia, which was regarded as a safe source of Infant formula. This was the start of the ACEM. Initially, most goods where sold via Hong Kong but now goods are now sold in various and numerous channels into China. It has been the source of great sales growth and success of many Australian brands such as Swisse, Blackmores, Du-IT, and Freeze Frame etc.

The original exporters were mainly young Chinese students who sourced there goods from pharmacies and supermarkets and are now known as “Daigou” which literally means “on behalf of…” . Since then the channel has developed significantly and is quite sophisticated but complex. PSA has been involved in the channel from the outset and has access to a large number of key accounts and the knowledge to build a brand in the channel. Including, contacts, pricing strategies and marketing.

PSA (Pharmasales Australia) Export Sales/Channel Management

In this channel, PSA performs the following:

  • Introduces a product or range to Daigou, Exporter Pharmacies and Exporters
  • Advice on pricing strategies
  • Build and manage a sales communications program
  • Marketing and promotional management
  • Distribution to accounts
  • Account management
  • Sales orders management and administration
  • Provide ongoing communications collateral to all exporters, pharmacy exporters and Daigou
  • Provide advice and direction to communicate and support the brand:
    • in the local export market
    • directly in the Chinese market
  • Where necessary assist in securing appropriate accreditation for goods to be sold in the general trade outside the online platforms in China.

In addition to our other services, we can provide a distributor service where we can:

  • Store goods
  • Take orders
  • Distribute goods nationally
  • Fees vary depending on the nature and specifications of the goods

Store representation

  • Field team:
    • National field team
    • A telesales team


  • Reporting is cloud based on the IOS platform and integrated into other software programmes
  • The ability to manage and perform real time task and timely reports.

Fax streaming

  • There are approximately 5,600 pharmacies in Australia
  • About 2,400 generate about 80% of sales
  • We provide a fax service to reach out to the smaller and remote pharmacies for a small fee.


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