Pharmacies and Competition

The recent Productivity Commission final report on the review of national competition policy reforms (Feb 2005), pages 261-265, link , draws attention to the numerous licensing, ownership, location and advertising restrictions which severely limit competition in the pharmacy sector. The report concludes that ‘pharmacy restrictions potentially impose large costs on consumers, taxpayers and the wider community’. A new Commonwealth Government agreement with the pharmacy sector must be completed by June 30, 2005. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will cost taxpayers about $11.75 b over the next five years.

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