Capital Chemist turns 40!

Posted 22 Mar 2018

Story by CBR Canberra

One of Canberra’s greatest business and healthcare success stories is celebrating its 40th birthday.

Capital Chemist was started by pharmacists Roger Tall and Gary Cairns in Canberra in 1978.

Today it is a partnership of 60 owners and 38 stores across the ACT, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, providing a comprehensive range of primary healthcare services and advice to people of all ages.

“What makes Capital Chemist unique is that the local who owns the store runs the store,” said Capital Chemist Group Business Manager Peter Downing.

“This local connection with our communities is the reason we do what we do. We are extremely grateful to our wonderful customers, many of whom have been with us for 40 years!”

The Capital Chemist website reveals the extraordinary range of primary healthcare services and support; asthma checks, a baby clinic, blood glucose testing, cholesterol screening, complementary and alternative medicines, diabetes screening and educator sessions, dose administration aids (medication packs), emergency contraception (‘morning after’ pill), hearing screening, heart health check, HIV dispensing, flu vaccinations, iron studies and anemia screening, IVF dispensing, a weight loss impromy program, smoking cessation, travel medicine advice, needle and syringe disposal and supply, and safe return of unwanted medicines. There’s even a Text Your Script service, simply MMS/SMS a picture of the script to the specially-provided number.

Capital Chemist can conduct myDNA testing, which reveals how your body uniquely responds to some drugs, what you eat and drink and how you exercise. “This can help you take a more personalised approach to your healthcare,” explained Peter.

Capital Chemist also provides post-surgical support such as a range compression stockings, lymphoedema (fluid retention, tissue swelling) garments, mobility and equipment hire and wound management. And there is, of course, an expert compounding service, the art and science of creating customised medication by combining precise quantities and strengths of individual ingredients.

“Compounding is often required for medical reasons, to avoid non-essential ingredients due to allergies, to change a tablet into a capsule for patients with swallowing issues, to make a product not available on the Australian market or to manufacture an exact dosage based on the patient’s individual prescription,” said Peter.

A community pharmacy, Capital Chemist gets to know its local community and supports it. Its community program provides about $300,000 a year to local organisations and individuals in need and national causes. Over the past two decades it’s provided more than $4 million to the community.

“One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of being a community pharmacist is the opportunity to interact with members of our local communities,” said Peter.

“Many of our clients become good and even close personal friends and it is through them that we become aware of and learn more about community needs.

“Thank you Canberra. We couldn’t have done it without you!”

To find your local Capital Chemist, go to

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