Reverse Listing of Chemist Warehouse Media Release

15 December 2023

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia's ACT Branch has expressed major concerns about the proposal to reverse-list Chemist Warehouse on the Australian Securities Exchange via Sigma Healthcare Ltd.

Branch President Simon Blacker says it is incumbent on ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith and ACT Health to ensure the interests of patients are not compromised and all arrangements are compliant with existing pharmacy business ownership rules.

"We expect ACT Health to protect the current ownership regulations that preserve patients' health ahead of profits," Mr Blacker said.

Franchising can, and does, support many community pharmacies to provide healthcare to patients, but laws across Australia prevent non-pharmacists from holding a 'financial, 'ownership', or 'proprietary' interest in a pharmacy.

"Those rules guarantee that community pharmacies remain an essential layer of the health system. Community pharmacies provide accessible healthcare at a time when other healthcare providers are falling apart," he said.

Mr Blacker says ACT Health must be wary of increased corporatisation in the community pharmacy sector.

"It is not in the interest of patients, or their communities, to have community pharmacies that put shareholders first.

"The language of those pushing this proposal is about a 'unique opportunity' for 'healthcare businesses'.

"The community pharmacy network does not accord with large, corporatised business models. Medicines are not ordinary items of commerce.

"Community pharmacy's primary responsibility must remain to patients, not shareholders," he said.

Media Contact

Liz Lang

02 6270 8900

Page last updated on: 15 December 2023