Pharmacists can now own as many as 5 pharmacies instead of 2

Pharmacists can now own as many as 5 pharmacies instead of 2

By Dhanjay Deo , Shanil Singh
Friday 29/07/2022
[Image: File Photo]

Pharmacists can now own as many as 5 pharmacies instead of 2 as the Act to amend the Pharmacy Profession Act 2011 has been passed in Parliament.

The Bill also allows for a registered pharmacist to expand his or her business wherever pharmacy services are needed and to allow for greater certainty in business practice, the Bill extends the period of authorization and license up to 5 years.

While opposing the Bill, National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says what is likely to happen is that the bigger pharmacies can have a complete monopoly on the pharmaceutical industry and destroy any competition.

Prasad says we know who these people are and majority of them are supporting FijiFirst and he knows their names.

He says many pharmacists already operate multiple pharmacies and the spouses of the owners of 2 such pharmacies have been closely linked with FijiFirst in the last 8 years through donations.

In his right of reply, Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Bill has nothing to do with donations and Professor Prasad is politicizing the issue.

Sayed-Khaiyum says the Bill is aimed at creating a competitive environment and provide services to the members of the public.

Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity, Industrial Relations, Youth and Sport, Alvick Maharaj says if a group of pharmacists are working together to open a chain of pharmacies, they are not breaking the law as they are only working smartly. He says for decades, registered pharmacists in Fiji could only own two retail pharmacies while the pharmaceutical industry around the world has evolved to be the leading economic sector.

Maharaj who also owns a pharmacy says the industry should have lobbied for this way back to ensure small players could have level playing field but certain people in authority in the industry were continuously trying to crack down on bigger operators.

According to the Bill, the Board consists of registered pharmacists operating their own pharmacy businesses and by allowing the Board to determine what and where pharmacy businesses may operate, as well as giving the Board access to the details of the operations of pharmacy businesses, the Act has created a system where some competing pharmacists have an unfair advantage over others.

It says this is not a system which is conducive to fair and dynamic competition in this market and as such, the Act seeks to transfer the business and market control role of the Board to the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The proposed amendment seeks to transfer business and market regulation from the Board to FCCC to provide for accountability and transparency and to avoid any conflict of interest which may arise during the running of a pharmacy business in Fiji.

The Bill also seeks to increase the number of pharmacies a registered pharmacist may own from 2 to 5, to allow for a registered pharmacist to expand his or her business wherever pharmacy services are needed. Furthermore, to allow for greater certainty in business practice, the Bill extends the period of authorization and license up to 5 years.

2022-2023 Budget Debate Coverage



-->
FEATURE NEWS
Sanatan Dharm having community sessions on natural ways to rehab drug users
The Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji is having a community session where they are talking about natural ways of rehabilitating drug users and ho...
4 hours ago
LATEST NEWS
Diddy tape puts renewed focus on the women in his life
The surveillance video of Sean “Diddy” Combs physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, Cassie Ventura, comes days after he paid tribute on ...
4 hours ago

Departure tax to fund tourism infrastructure in rural areas – Prof. Prasad
While discussing the upcoming 2024-2025 National Budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Professor Biman Prasad says they are looking ...
4 hours ago

Doctors reluctant to serve in rural areas – Dr Tudravu
There is an uneven distribution of doctors contrary to the Ministry's plans and the persistent difficulty in filling positions at rural health ...
8 hours ago

RFNS Puamau to assist Fiji’s ability to protect its waters - Rabuka
While commissioning the new naval vessel RFNS Puamau, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the vessel vessel has arrived at a critical time to assist ...
22 hours ago

Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha seeks to boost youth involvement and community engagement through temple consultations
To get more people engaged in the running of their respective temples and increasing participation in religious festivities, the Sanatan Dharm ...
23 hours ago



fijivillage Straight Talk with Vijay Narayan
Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
yb
IN DEPTH
Ministry of Home Affairs Talanoa Session on Illicit Drugs and Substance Use Disorders in Fiji
The pervasive threat of illicit drugs has emerged as a pressing concern, rapidly infiltrating and destabilizing our society therefore the Republic of ...
2 days ago

Bainimarama and Qiliho hearing in dismissal of 2 police officers case
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions John Rabuku says he wants the hearing of former Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and suspended Police ...
2 days ago

TOP