WA reviews pharmacy ownership laws

Will the invasion of big chains undermind the quality of care and service provided by community pharmacies? 

 

Business News Western Australia has recently published the below article regarding the review of WA pharmacy ownership laws. It brings up the age-old debate of what is truly better? Quality or quantity? When big companies can offer discounts that small, family-run businesses cannot, what does the future hold for the SME’s of today? Read their publication below to find out more.

 

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The threat of corporate discount pharmacies on small, family-run businesses has triggered a review of pharmacy ownership laws in Western Australia.

Health Minister Roger Cook says a root and branch review will examine the type and quality of services offered by pharmacies and their role in the community.

“What we’ve seen in other states is that pharmacies have tended towards the big corporate discount pharmacies, so they compete on price, not on quality of service,” he said.

More than 54,000 prescriptions are dispensed from WA’s 642 registered pharmacies each year, representing about 11 percent of the national market.

 

Mr Cook said the invasion of the big chains would undermine the quality of care and service provided by community pharmacies.

To own a pharmacy in WA, a person must be a registered pharmacists or close family member with a stake in the business, be recognised by the state pharmacy registration board and own no more than four businesses at once.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia WA acting president Andrew Ngeow said there was no problem with a competitive price market, except if it created a culture in which cost trump service to the detriment of health.

The state government will hold public consultations until December 8, with the final report due in March 2018.

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