Woolworths could become the ultimate consumer store if it adds “pharmacy” to its repertoire of services.
The supermarket giant has lobbied for changes to be made to the Community Pharmacy agreement, a section of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that expires in June 2015, in a bid to include the sales of pharmaceutical and medical products by pharmacists in its stores, reports Business Spectator.
Sharing a stake in the $16 billion industry with Woolworths has outraged independent pharmacists who would struggle to match the supermarket’s prices. Business Spectator has reported the supermarket plans to offer products for 30% less than pharmacies.
Already offering fuel, liquor, hardware, hotels, clothing and financial services, Woolworths could monopolise the retail sector.
If changes go ahead, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has said more than 5,000 jobs will be put at risk, and over 400 towns in rural could lose their only pharmacy.
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