We made it through the winter, barely!

By Brianne Lowe, 2019 Pharmacy Guild of Australia/Maxigesic Pharmacy Assistant of the Year

Spring is back, and we have no idea what this season will bring, as 2020 has been full of surprises and there is no way to gauge how allergy season is going to play out. We do know that, as excellent pharmacy assistants, we’ll need to be prepared.

Brianne Lowe

Start from the top and work your way down

In the past two to three years, I’ve been displaying my allergy section differently to most. I’ve had great success in tweaking my merchandising by considering how customers shop and how I would companion sell, instead of what looks pretty or how suppliers would like me to display specific products.

It may surprise you that nasal sprays represent a whopping 25% of the total allergy and hay fever category sales, so why do we dump them on the bottom shelves? Tablets and caps make up the other 75%, but we know that these products alone don’t always relieve severe allergy symptoms. With this in mind, I’ve had sales growth from flipping the category upside-down: to display sprays on the top shelves.

Asthma tips and hints

With new restrictions in place for salbutamol (Ventolin or Asmol), we must be following our WHAT STOP GO or CARER protocols, but also educating our customers on the proper use of inhalers. We know that efficacy is increased by 50% when using a spacer with an inhaler, by helping the medication get straight to the lungs with less ending up in the patient’s mouth or back of their throat.


Ask any team I’ve worked with and they’ll tell you one of my favourite pastimes at team meetings or training events is to brainstorm a list of possible companion selling products and self-care tips for customers.

To view the full list of tips and tricks, click here to read the entire article as seen in Retail Pharmacy Assistants magazine September.