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Keep it Handy: Choice Report on Open-seller Medicines

Medicine shortages

The recent Choice report titled ‘A better deal on drugs‘ comparing pharmacies and supermarkets on price, range and value in relation to a number of common over-the-counter medicine categories is a document worth filing away for future reference.

The report found that pharmacies are very price competitive and “equalled or beat supermarkets on price when comparing brand for brand.”

The report found that pharmacies were not only as cheap if not cheaper than supermarkets in many medicine categories, but they also provided a wider range of brands and pack sizes.

Importantly, the report found that pharmacies, unlike supermarkets, provided customers with health related advice and assistance, when they were purchasing these medicines.

This report exposed the ideologically-driven claims that community pharmacy is not competitive, and is a useful reference for everyone in the sector when the usual suspects allege the pharmacy model is uncompetitive.

The take-out from this report is clear – community pharmacies are a better option than supermarkets when it comes to purchasing open-seller, over-the-counter medicines. Unlike the self-serve supermarket model, consumers have ready access to professional health advice from trained medicine experts in pharmacies.

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