Making Docklands City Pharmacy a household name

Making Docklands City Pharmacy a household name

By Jack Hayes

“I’ve had locals coming into the shop saying, ‘I’ve read all about you’ or ‘hi Lee, I recognise you from the newspaper.’

Since speaking with Docklands News in July, Docklands City Pharmacy (DCP) owner and pharmacist, DongJun Lee, has seen a remarkable increase both in business and recognition from locals.

After opening DCP in March, coinciding with the wave of staged COVID-19 restrictions, Mr Lee has been exposed to the highs and lows of small business, like few other new business owners.

“Locals have been great supporting local business. It has been hard to transform the business into a name which people are familiar with, but support is growing,” Mr Lee said.  

Now, as Docklands turns the corner of stage four restrictions, Mr Lee is endeavouring to firm Docklands City Pharmacy, not just as a household name, but as the go-to pharmacy in Docklands.

By forging strong and reciprocal relationships with locals, Mr Lee has seen, not only an improvement in business, but also a growing stringency in medication adherence.

Through the DCP SMS app, users are automatically reminded when a medication prescription is to be refilled. The app also works as a conduit for medical advice and information.

“I’ve seen an increase in customers timing their medications correctly. So, I can tell their compliance is good,” Mr Lee said. “Constantly changing medication with Webster-paks, I get to talk to doctors and determine how a customer’s health is on an ongoing basis.”

“By using our SMS app service, you can talk to me directly. Even if it is for something simple like ‘I’ve just cut my hand, what can I do?’ I’m happy to answer any questions.”

“For me it isn’t about trying to sell you particular products, I’m just here to for locals if they need advice.”

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, our first point of contact with the health system is often delivered by a GP, however, other health professionals such as pharmacists can also play an important role in delivering primary health care.

“I’m not going to charge people for advice. If there is something you need to ask but don’t feel you need a doctor’s appointment, just give us a call or use the SMS service,” he said.

“And if it isn’t inside my scope, I’ll refer it to a doctor. It saves time and effort for people and also reduces the burden for our doctors, who are under a lot of pressure at the moment.”

Another inhibiting factor for Australian’s receiving health care is cost.

In 2016–17, among people aged 15 and over, 7.3 per cent (974,000) of people who needed a prescription medication avoided or delayed having their script filled.

Although Mr Lee admits he may not yet have the reputation of the larger pharmacies, his prices and products are just as competitive.

“We are fully Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme subsidised. If you have a concession card, it will be exactly the same to those bigger pharmacies,” he said.

Mr Lee still intends to transform DCP into a Priceline Pharmacy, once the turbulence of a global pandemic subsides •

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