NEWS

New Pharmacy Laws

“There have been situations where sometimes people will want to open a pharmacy in a place where there is no pharmacy. The people on the board said oh, you know you can’t open it because we intend to have a license here.”
27 Jul 2022 16:03
New Pharmacy Laws
Pharmacy

A Bill to change laws surrounding pharmacy ownership will be debated in Parliament tomorrow.

When questioned yesterday, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum explained how the changes will assist in the growth of the industry.

The amendments have been welcomed by younger professionals in the field. The amendment made to the Act would allow registered pharmacist to expand his or her business.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Bill seeks to remove the Fiji Pharmacy Profession Board’s role in authorising the operation of pharmacy businesses, premises and locations for these businesses.

 

He said the Bill seeks to transfer the business and market control role of the Fiji Pharmacy Profession Board role to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission.

“It seeks to remove what we call the exclusive basis on which the pharmacy board grants licenses at the moment. The board is made up of current practitioners, people who are pharmacists themselves,” he said.

“For example, if you are a graduate and have worked in pharmacies for a number of years, you would want to open your number of pharmacies. They will decide whether you can open a pharmacy or not and they are actually your competitor.”

 

“Board members who are your own competitors would ask those who want to open a pharmacy to hand in their financial statements. They will want to know where you buy medicine from and want to know how much money you make. This wasn’t fair for those that want to open up their new businesses.”

“There have been situations where sometimes people will want to open a pharmacy in a place where there is no pharmacy. The people on the board said oh, you know you can’t open it because we intend to have a license here.”

He said many private pharmacy services were only available at limited times or were not available, even in populated areas of Fiji.

 

Pharmacists’ Reactions

Pharmacist Albert Nuffield said the amendment made to the Act would generate more jobs.

Mr Nuffield said the amendment provides a wider reach of medical and dental services to the public through the engagement of general and dental practitioners.

“Allowing pharmacists to open more branches would generate jobs in Fiji. I jumped in excitement when I heard that the Government had made that change to this Bill,” he said.

“It has encouraged me to open up a pharmacy in future. Before, my peers were hesitant to open up a pharmacy as the process was hard.”



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