Discount Drug Stores unveils national council

By Sarah Stowe | 24 Jun 2020 View comments

Pharmacy group Discount Drug Stores (DDS) has appointed its first national council.

The council will work similarly to a franchise advisory council, providing greater alignment between the company’s franchisees and its national operations.

It’s a consultative body comprising seven nominated and selected DDS franchisee representatives and five DDS (Sigma Healthcare) representatives, plus a non-voting Secretariat.

Recently appointed head of DDS and Chemist King, Patrick Stoll, says it is an honour to help establish the council alongside 12 other franchise partners and representatives.

“I’m thrilled to partner with a group of members who are passionate about the DDS brand. Their knowledge provides us with a local perspective on how we can deliver tailored healthcare advice to these communities,” he said.

Through the national council (NC), DDS aims to provide franchisees with the tools to take charge of their pharmacies and implement real change to meet their local communities’ needs.

Martin Schulz, the council chair, said the new council demonstrates DDS’ commitment to its partners and big-picture thinking combined with local implementation.

“A National Council not only boosts franchise partner confidence but allows them to evolve with the industry. Day-to-day operations are rapidly changing, and a council gives pharmacists the opportunity to transform their business, knowing they have the wider company’s full support.”


The Council’s function is to support franchise partners by developing a member-focused strategy and discussing developments regarding the DDS brand, said Stoll.

“The Council will delve into strategic issues that impact the brand and act in an advisory role to enhance implementation of these initiatives.”

Its remit is to seek new opportunities, improve agility, and respond to industry, regulatory, and market changes. The council will also pressure-test ideas and aim to solve systemic issues.

A dedicated email address has been established for wider partners to directly communicate with members of the DDSNC who will then take concerns and recommendations to council meetings.

Stoll said “This allows all DDS franchise partners the opportunity to have meaningful influence on decisions that will strengthen the brand and ultimately build the success of respective pharmacies.

“All ideas and initiatives tabled will be discussed and considered by all Council members. In the long run, this will establish stronger frameworks and strategies within the DDS family and enhance in-pharmacy experiences for customers,” he said.