Added-value services ‘key to sector growth'
EPF Vice President Marco Nocentini Mungai shares his views on the EPF, Italian pharmacy and the future for independent pharmacists...
How do you see the role of the EPF in European pharmacy today?
The EPF enables us to look at European pharmacy as a whole and compare models in different countries. This helps to develop fresh ideas and discuss future perspectives. Hearing from external speakers, such as manufacturers or other figures in the pharmacy community, at the EPF seminars helps to make the debate more meaningful.
What are the unique features of the Italian pharmacy market?
The market is quite traditional. Pharmacy is deeply-rooted as people's primary point of reference for healthcare and part of the social fabric. This does not mean that Italian pharmacy is not innovative; it has been modernised and updated to keep up with the times. In particular, the development of the ‘pharmacy of services' model – offering other professional services as well as pharmacy – is gaining popularity, despite challenges and regional differences.
How do you see technology changing the pharmacy sector?
Pharmacies must play an active role in the use of new technologies, with particular attention given to new apps. With so many technological innovations in pharmacy, it is important to ensure that they are being accessed through proper channels to avoid misinformation and potential drug misuse.
How can the EPF support change?
The EPF can be the ideal platform to study, develop and propose new models in pharmacy at a European level. Its composition and inclusion of stakeholders allows the development of shared models to move forward.
How can added-value services support sector development?
Development of new professional services and methods of integration with other healthcare businesses can provide significant added-value to the pharmacy sector. Given the small amount of public and private resources in Italy, with the current climate, it is important to utilise other professional services focussed on patients (i.e. compliance, patient care, collateral effects, mass screening) to further develop a pharmacy's role.
What does the more globalised future hold for independent pharmacists?
By gathering together, independents could take advantage of the economies of scale needed in an increasingly competitive environment and could reach a wider range of new professional services.
About Marco Nocentini Mungai
Marco was born in Florence on 30 January 1956 and graduated in Pharmacy Studies at the University of Florence in 1979. Since 1982, he has been the owner of ‘Farmacia Mungai' in Florence.
Marco has been participating in the pharmacy trade association's activities for many years: at national level, as Vice President of Federfarma; and at local level, he is currently President of both Federfarma Toscana and Federfarma Firenze. From 1990, Marco has collaborated with the cooperative association of pre-wholesale pharmacy companies Aziende Cooperative di farmacisti di Distribuzione Intermedia. He is currently President of Co.Fardis s.p.a.'s Supervisory Council.
"Pharmacists must play an active role in the use of new technologies..."