The Pharmacy Guild of Australia rejects the Competition Policy Review’s draft recommendations that regulations governing the ownership and location of pharmacies be removed.
The Federal Government has made its position clear on this issue both before and since the election - expressly supporting the current pharmacy ownership model and the Location Rules.
The current model of community pharmacy serves Australian health care consumers extremely well – an assessment reaffirmed repeatedly in published public opinion polls.
The Executive Director of the Guild, David Quilty, said: “Australia’s 5450 community pharmacies, currently struggling under the pressures of price disclosure, need certainty and stability – not a constant push to abolish a system that’s working and replace it with an economic theory.”
The regulation around pharmacy including the Location Rules, ensures that health care consumers can get timely and equitable access to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme medicines wherever they live in Australia. The regulation has a clear public benefit, to which the competition review panel seems completely oblivious.
It is disappointing that the competition panel, while acknowledging the negative impact such “reforms” would have on pharmacy, still went ahead and recommended changes that would destroy the investments and livelihoods of pharmacy owners, the jobs of their staff, and patient access to many local pharmacies.
The Guild will be making a formal submission to the Competition Review in response to the draft report.