Considers ownership and location restrictions “unnecessary”.
The draft report of the Competition Policy Review panel has recommended removing the ownership and location rules for pharmacy in the “long term interests of consumers.”
The report, released today, said the Panel, chaired by Professor Ian Harper, found the present ownership and location restrictions were unnecessary to uphold the quality of advice and care provided to patients.
Such restrictions limited consumers’ ability to choose where to buy pharmacy products and services, and the ability of providers to meet consumers’ preferences, it said.
The Panel said while some regulation needed to remain in place, given pharmacy’s role in primary health care, current regulations were more restrictive than those in other health sectors.
They should be replaced with regulations to ensure access and quality of advice on pharmaceuticals that did not “unduly restrict competition”, the Panel said.
Negotiations for the next Community Pharmacy Agreement gave an opportunity for government to remove the location rules, with “appropriate transitional arrangements”, the Panel said.
For more, see tomorrow’s Pharmacy Daily.