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Pharmacy Guild of Australia Accessibility Analysis

Client: Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA)

Macroplan tested the geographic distribution of the pharmacies in relation to the population across Australia to determine the proportion of the population that has ready access to a community pharmacy.

Macroplan undertook a detailed assessment of all 5,800 community pharmacies (ie. pharmacies approved to dispense under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) across Australia. GIS analysis was used to determine the number of people living within 2.5km and 5.0km (capital cities), and 25km (regional Australia) of a pharmacy. Identical analyses were then done for all medical centres (GPs), supermarkets, banks, and Australia Post offices/agencies across Australia as benchmarks.

The process used advanced GIS analysis techniques and population data at mesh block level from 2021 to provide the highest possible accuracy for the assessment. Macroplan used its expertise to gather all point of interest information including the existing location of all pharmacies, supermarkets, medical centres, banks and post offices across Australia. Each of these datasets was then analysed against the resident population in more than 368,000 mesh blocks as of 2021. Another element of the study was to consider consumer choice by assessing the proportion of the population that had two or more of the relevant facilities within each of the three proximity areas (2.5km, 5.0km and 25km). The results were filtered by greater capital cities and rest-of-state/territory to estimate any geographic differences in the level of accessibility.

Result:

Findings were developed into a series of tables and commentary that clearly compared the accessibility for every capital city and rest-of-state/territory area across Australia for each of the facilities (pharmacies, supermarkets, medical centres, banks and post offices). This demonstrated the efficacy of the pharmacy location rules in providing a national network of pharmacies that meets optimises the community’s access to prescription pharmaceuticals.

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