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March 2011







Dear Clients, colleagues & friends

I have had great fun perusing the newspapers lately (“The REAL DEAL” and “YOU PAY LESS ” etc) seeing the massive cost,  full page glossy advertisements that the chain stores and corporate stores have been placing lately. If they are so good, should they be spending these huge amounts of money to convince shoppers that they are the best? Best what?

It cannot be service.You see the queues of impatient and “scrumpy” patients waiting to get their medicines in their little cable tied metal cages from someone behind the counter that they do not recognize, or  know or have not seen before, then you know they have been sucked up into the impressionist age! I have always maintained that price is not everything. Important, yes, but not the be all and end all! One can create the impression that everything in those stores are cheaper than anyone else, but beware of the rest of the items that are NOT cut-priced and price promoted! You are probably being nailed, but properly, with products that are available locally at similar or better prices!

I have reported two of these  stores to the SA Pharmacy Council for alleged transgressions in the strict advertising code of ethics. But, like most professional councils and practice committees, they are a sterile bunch of has beens, who take care not to offend transgressors, while exercising their mandate “to protect the public”. However, we press on and pursue our business ideal – best service at the best possible price to allow us to continue servicing  the community of Stutterheim by offering a quality, affordable and accessible healthcare option  .

So, here it is! At Colletts Pharmacy THE DEAL IS REAL!
I have often wondered why these guys advertise that they discount the professional fee? Surely a professional person is proud of the fact they hold a professional qualification in healthcare and that individual is passionate enough about it to justify the professional fee. Pharmacy has long argued that the fee we charge is not a professional fee but a mark-up for the cost of carrying the item in the shelf. So, giving away points on a professional fee, while allowed, prostitutes the profession. But it may even be considered touting .

We all try and cut the costs of medication, some just have more financial resources at their disposal from their other trading items, to cross subsidise the give aways!
Every customer is legally obliged to be offered a cheaper alternative generic medicine by the pharmacist – we do!
We don’t charge for deliveries, neither does one wait very long for your prescriptions. AND we are slowly but surely acquiring DSP status with many medical aids .

Finally, on the front cover, they espouse the pay-off line – Pharmacists who care . Does that by implication insinuate that we do not care?

So when all is said and done, consider the following:
74 kms to East London and back= 148 km’s @ +/- R 9.00 per litre and at around 9km/l = R 150.00. Then we add wear and tear (R 2.50/km = R 370.00) and smash in lunch, coffee and tea (conservatively R 75.00), because we are going to go for the day (to make the trip worthwhile ) we must ensure that we must SAVE around R600.00 in shopping before we leave town?  That is just to break even! So where is the saving?

Think of the scenario – shop locally and support extensively and the ranges start to increase, the prices can stabilise and you see your mates more often because “local is lekker”. Better business attracts more investment by other business.

Thank you to all our loyal clients who support us, and, by informing us of any hassles and exorbitant prices, we are able to respond and continuing serving our patients to the best of our ability. 

Yours in health,

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