UTS site search

What we do

Innovative Pharmacist of the Year

Innovation is the cornerstone of pharmacy. As the profession go through unprecedented change, we believe it's important to recognise those leading the way. 

2017 Nominations open

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Awards.  Nominations close at 11pm on Friday 13 October 2017.

Nominate now

The award

This annual award recognises those in the profession who are redefining pharmacy. Our partner Astra-Zeneca is once again sponsoring this initiative with a $5,000 grant that goes towards to the winner’s professional development. 

The prize

Thanks to AstraZeneca, the winner will receive a medal, $5000 towards further professional development and the opportunity to share their innovation with the rest of the profession. The award is presented at an award ceremony and gala dinner at UTS each year. 

2016 Winner

Dr Alison Roberts with Prof Attila Brungs, Vice Chancellor UTS and Dr Alan Paul, Senior Medical Director, AstraZeneca

Dr Alison Roberts with Prof Attila Brungs, Vice Chancellor UTS (left) and Dr Alan Paul, Senior Medical Director, AstraZeneca

Dr Alison Roberts of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has been announced as the winner of the AstraZeneca 2016 UTS Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Award for a new initiative that supports pharmacies to better engage with consumers. Dr Roberts led the creation of the Health Destination Pharmacy (HDP) program, an evidence-based change initiative that helps pharmacies transition to a professional services business model. The HDP program is based on more than 15 years of work that began during Dr Roberts’s PhD in 2001. Pharmacies work with a Health Destination coach with the aim of developing more targeted health services that respond to the needs of the local community. The HDP program was successfully piloted in 14 pharmacies from 2012-2013. It is currently in a scale-up phase in 25 pharmacies across Australia, with plans for future expansion.

Find out more about the 2016 Innovative Pharmacist of the Year

See photos from the 2016 UTS Pharmacy Dinner and Innovative Pharmacist of the Year Awards.

Previous Winners


This year’s winner was Swarup Afsar, owner of Pharmacy 777 in Western Australia for his innovative Mental Health Module in Community Pharmacy.  Swarup’s innovation was around implementing a counselling service that provides; solution focused psycho-dynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy. Mr Afsar said “his innovation is continuing to improve mental health experienced by a whole spectrum of patients – from newly diagnosed diabetics, sleep apnoea sufferer’s to FIFO workers and their partners, and of course people having prescriptions for anti-depressants”.

Read more about Swarup's innovation


The 2014 winners were the Queensland Pharmacist Immunisation Pilot (QPIP) implementation team from the Queensland branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, who worked with 80 pharmacies to deliver a user-pays vaccination program over a period of five months. The project saw pharmacy professionals deliver more than 11,000 vaccinations to members of the public at a fee of $25-$30 each.

Read more about the QPIP Implementation Team's work


The 2013 medal was awarded to Joyce McSwan, a consultant pharmacist, community pharmacist and pharmacy educator who has driven exciting innovations in the field of pain management in Queensland over the last three years.
Read more about McSwan's work and the 2013 Award Ceremony

The 2012 medal was awarded to David Dixon of Goldfields Fullife Pharmacy in Gympie Qld for his introduction of a highly successful Sleep Management Service which produced over $250K revenue in the first year.
Read more about Dixon's work and the 2012 Award ceremony.

Award criteria


  • What new concepts or variations on existing ideas have been developed? Have these developments been achieved independently or with help of others?


  • Is the concept or variation a fundamental change to common practice or a minor development? Will it lead to other innovations?


  • Are the innovations easily integrated into existing practice? Are they cost-effective? Do they come with risk?

Measureable benefits

  • Has the innovation increased revenue, efficiencies, cost savings?


  • Can the innovative practice be easily adapted by other pharmacists? Can they be used internationally?