A 2008 McKinsey Quarterly reported that over the last 50 years healthcare spending in OECD countries has grown on average 2% more than GDP. It also suggests that by the turn of the century, it will be the world’s biggest economic sector.
“However, in many countries, including emerging markets like South Africa, it is also predicted to become the largest economic problem,” says Scott Hogarth, newly appointed Argility commercial product executive for the pharmacy market.
“I believe the pharmacy profession, along with the appropriate technology, could form part of the solution by adding value through improved patient care,” he says.
As a leading vendor of point-of-sale (POS) solutions, locally and internationally, Argility products are already deployed in the majority of South Arica’s private sector pharmacies.
In anticipation of projected growth for healthcare solutions, Argility announced Hogarth’s appointment to drive new strategies and products in this arena.
Hogarth, a pharmacist who boasts a 30 year career in various disciplines of the pharmaceutical and FMCG industry, also holds a B.Com and an MBA.
“The pharmacy sector has the potential to grow significantly as government unfolds its plans to roll out wider healthcare coverage and services,” says Hogarth.
“Argility is strong in this market and we intend to grow our share further with new products designed to meet the changing needs of pharmacies operating in all sectors, including independent retail operations, national chains plus dispensing facilities in clinics and hospitals.”
In South Africa pharmacies are challenged on many fronts, including the regulation of dispensing fees. “Moreover, cost pressures have placed an additional burden on many community pharmacists striving to provide a viable and accessible healthcare service.
“Exciting technology developments have the potential to provide innovative, flexible and cost effective solutions, while at the same time simplifying operations.
“Argility’s POS solution is aimed at maximising the cost-effectiveness of any outlet. This goes beyond pricing, compliance and stock control. Research indicates that the general public regard pharmacists as their most trusted healthcare professional.
"Technology has the potential to shape the way pharmacy is practised in South Africa – improving quality, safety and accuracy in the dispensing process. This allows the pharmacist to spend more time with patients, as well as extending the range of services offered.”
Hogarth confirms it is Argility’s vision is to be the preferred supplier of pharmacy management systems in South Africa, as well as having the capability of offering pharmacy solutions to the international market.
Argility MD, John Bright, says the announcement of this high level appointment is indicative of the company’s commitment to this market.
“The healthcare challenge provides a massive opportunity for the growth of the pharmacy profession and the technology tools required to achieve it. We believe collaboration with stakeholders is a pre-requisite to growth and the development of the right products that deliver what the market requires.
"We feel it is a great advantage to have a pharmacist, with extensive experience across the pharmaceutical industry, to drive Argility’s strategic vision in this arena.”