Introducing Elizabeth: Smith Biomeds Clinical Consultant

Meet Elizabeth Plant, Clinical Consultant at Smith BioMed. In this blog, we have a chance to learn about her impressive journey through the pharmaceutical industry and how she has found her way back home to Taranaki where it all began. As she gets ready for another exciting chapter in her professional and personal life we explore a career filled with highlights of innovation, change, and senior leadership.


Back in the 1980s once graduated and officially registered, Elizabeth’s career started in Taranaki as a Community Pharmacist. This role provided a solid foundation in the community and a good understanding of the interactions between a patient and their pharmacist on a daily basis. Elizabeth’s ambition then led her to work in the busy pharmacy at Dunedin Hospital. The placement ignited a real sense of purpose and passion, however, fate had different plans in store — calling her towards the ‘Big OE’. A chance she immediately seized, unable to resist the thrill of travel that still burns brightly for her today.


Upon her return to Aotearoa, Elizabeth found herself employed in hospital duties once more in a 2IC position at the bustling Wanganui Hospital. While indulging in amateur acting at the local theatre outside of work – a chance meeting led her into the arms of her future husband, who was deeply involved in the theatre scene. Love blossomed, wedding bells chimed, and a family promptly ensued.


During this period, Elizabeth dedicated nine years to family life before securing the role of Chief Pharmacist for the Taranaki District Health Board. During her remarkable 21-year tenure there, she was responsible amongst other duties for contracting community pharmacies and the electronic medicine computer systems. She also became very interested in enhancing patient safety and carved out a legacy and ideology that resonates to this day.


The next step saw Elizabeth gain the presidency of the Pharmaceutical Society in New Zealand. Affording her the opportunity to lead a groundbreaking initiative in a government-funded, pilot programme managing anticoagulation for people who used Warfarin. This innovative project marked a pivotal moment, highlighting the opportunity for the pharmacists’ role in diagnostic care. The idea also provided the first interaction with Smith BioMed who had an existing, but limited range of autonomous drug, alcohol and pregnancy tests.


At this point, Elizabeth saw the opportunity for gout monitoring directly between the patient and the pharmacy network amongst other innovative tests including identifying low Iron, STI tests and Vitamin D levels.


Elizabeth’s visionary instincts made her a natural fit for SmithBioMed, and this partnership saw the beginnings of an innovative business model aimed at democratising diagnostic testing.


She was immediately involved in bringing Smith BioMed’s existing products to market, from crafting informative leaflets and packaging to liaising with wholesalers, all while ensuring seamless integration and training with pharmacies nationwide.


Part of Smith BioMed’s ethos is the belief in empowering consumers through accessible, over-the-counter testing solutions. These new tests serve as invaluable tools in preemptive healthcare, offering users accurate data to guide them towards timely medical intervention. New SmithBioMed innovations include a growing list of useful tests such as women’s health and fertility screening, iron and vitamin D deficiency.


Elizabeth is excited about the untapped potential of Smith BioMed’s burgeoning test portfolio. Committed to improving the health outcomes and the safety of New Zealanders, she envisions a time where self-care intersects seamlessly with innovative pharmacy solutions, all driving towards well-being. A motivating mantra from a previous government health regime rings true more today than ever, “better, sooner and more convenient”.


As she embarks on her latest chapter back in Taranaki, Elizabeth looks forward to revisiting the community pharmacists network, rallying them towards the opportunities of the Smith BioMed products. And amidst her professional endeavours, adventure calls once more — Elizabeth dreams of visiting the United States to embrace the joys of travel to new and exciting destinations, grandparenthood, and spending time with extended family who live there.