The Competition Policy Review was announced by the Prime Minister and Minister for Small Business in December 2013, with the final Terms of Reference released in March 2014. In April 2014 an Issues Paper was released and submissions invited from interested parties.
It is the first comprehensive review of Australia’s competition laws and policy in over 20 years. The Review is examining the broader competition framework to ensure that it continues to play a role as a significant driver of productivity improvements and to ensure that the current laws are operating as intended and are effective for all businesses, big and small. (Ref. https://treasury.gov.au/publication/p2015-cpr-final-report)
Following the receipt of submissions in response to its Issues Paper, the Review Panel's Draft Report released in September 2014 recommended (Rec. 51) that pharmacy regulations governing the location and ownership of community pharmacies (Ownership, and Location Rules) be removed, on the basis that they restrict competition, limit consumer choice, result in poor health outcomes, and are costly for taxpayers. However, the Review Panel provided no evidence to support its assertions and, in fact, the Panel, headed by Professor Ian Harper, indicated that existing restrictions have not prevented new pharmacy models from evolving.
Below are the Guild's Media Releases and Submissions in response to the Review's Issues Paper and Draft Report. There is also a summary of the Guild's submission to the Draft Report that can be accessed. The Guild’s submission included a new three-pronged analysis providing ample evidence the current community pharmacy framework yields significant public benefits in terms of efficiency and equity to counter the draft report’s assertions and recommendations.
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