POLL: Should overseas pharmacies be allowed into Australia


Have your say on reports that overseas pharmacy giants are planning to set up Australian operations

Media reports that overseas pharmacy giants such as Walgreens and Boots are considering their options to establish an Australian presence are interesting, but no more than that, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia says.

Fairfax media sources reported that the global Walgreen Boots Alliance is eyeing off the Australian market.

Alliance global brands president Ken Murphy, who is in Australia to speak at a retail industry conference, says the group would ideally like to open company-owned Boots pharmacies in Australia, but was prevented from doing so by ownership regulations.

To justify the investment of starting up in Australia he says they would need to establish their own chain.

“We’d be happy to do that by acquiring pharmacies but we’d have to have the legal permission to do so,” he said.

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia was formed in the late 1920s in large part due to the need to fight off an earlier threatened invasion of the Australian market by Boots.

A spokesperson for the Guild said the latest reports are really little more than “idle musings” given the current corporate ownership regulations.

And the Guild would fight to retain these regulations for the benefit of Australian consumers and for the viability of the industry, the spokesperson said.




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  1. g

    I guess what we should do is stopping overseas pharmacists especially the one from India and Middle Eastfrom getting registration to prevent further lowering of pharmacists wages. I don’t mind overseas pharmacy giants entering Australian market as long as they can provide higher wages and better working conditions.

    • Apotheke

      Hi G, I think that overseas registered Pharmacists irrespective of their country of origin UK, ,India, Fiji, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Canada, USA etc should remain of the skilled migration list. We DO NOT NEED any more Pharmacists migrating to Australia as we are graduating far too may from our Universities as it is. Whatever came of the summit organised by the Victorian Guild to discuss workforce issues. Were any decisions made to reduce the number of pharmacy student places at Universities and in some cases to close some of the 19 Pharmacy schools entirely. We do not need 2,000 graduates entering the workforce each year there simply are not the jobs available despite the best efforts of some to create them.

  2. Naomi

    Surely Australian owned pharmacies are better for the economy. The profits made are spent in Australia by Australians, and small business usually pays their full tax liability as it is difficult to shift profits offshore in the way big multinationals can. I am uncomfortable with my tax payers money (via the PBS) being given to international companies with no guarantee that profits will remain in Australia to benefit our economy.

    • JimT

      most of the expenditure in the pharmacy game is at the drug level which is mainly multinational suppliers so dodgey tax practices are in play already

  3. JimT

    as it stands the profession is stuffed so I say yes so that the Big Box businesses get some of their own back……..

  4. Max read

    It would be good for employees.boots is a great employer.better than greedy pharmacy owners.

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