Poll: how many pharmacies should you own?

pharmacist pharmacy

There’s been much talk of late of who should own pharmacies… but what about the number of pharmacies an individual owns?

Thanks to the Queensland Inquiry into the pharmacy sector, there’s been a renewed focus on who should own pharmacies, with Ramsay Health and Chemist Warehouse both telling the inquiry that ownership should be opened up beyond pharmacists.

Our poll on the subject showed that 87% of the vote – representing a whopping 667 respondents – went to the response “pharmacists,” showing strong support for the status quo.

Reader Pagophilus suggested that we also look at how many pharmacies an individual pharmacist should own, and we agreed: the poll is below.

It’s a complex issue, and we’ve tried to simplify the responses below. As a result, the numbers in our options below are across jurisdictions… so if you don’t believe that pharmacists should be able to own in more than one jurisdiction, tick that option below in addition to your thoughts on the numbers.

Additionally, if you feel that ownership should be opened up to non-pharmacists (aside from existing considerations such as Friendly Societies), tick the option to deregulate entirely.

How many pharmacies should a pharmacist be able to own?

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  1. Gavin Mingay

    It would be interesting to know the ownership status of respondents too… People who own four or five will probably want to be allowed to own ten or twenty… Poor young pharmacists will most likely want fairness and the opportunity to be able to afford to buy a single pharmacy…

    • Paul Sapardanis

      What I find funny is the belief by most is that pharmacy is not currently corporatized at the moment. How many names on doors are there that have to much head office influence are there

  2. pagophilus

    A starting point should be that the rules are applied. Friendly Societies shouldn’t be allowed to be used as a loophole to circumvent the rules. (Seriously, what place in society does a friendly society have in this day and age?)

    If the ATO frowns upon the setting up of structures whose sole purpose is to gain a tax deduction, the pharmacy authorities should frown upon structures whose sole purpose is to circumvent ownership limits.

  3. Peter Crothers

    Pharmacists should be able to own an interest in the number of pharmacies for which they can take personal professional responsibility. Being able to take personal professional responsibility means actually working in the pharmacy for long enough and regularly enough to be satisfied that its systems for ensuring quality patient outcomes are both in place and working – and could be defined as say for a minimum of 8 weeks/300 hours per year, every year, in each owned pharmacy. Owners should also have to practice for a total of at least half the year – say 1000 hours. This would effectively outlaw absentee ownership and, combined with the effect of things like family obligation, would have the practical effect of limiting ownership numbers to 4 or 5, and in most cases 2 or 3. It would also tend to limit cross-jurisdiction ownership. It could be achieved through QCPP, especially if remuneration was linked to accreditation.

    • Paul Sapardanis

      Great idea Peter agree 100% . How many pharmacy owners are there that would be lucky to work 100 hours in a year in total I wonder. Is it not a registration requirement anymore?

      • Gavin Mingay

        Also, what happened to the fit and proper person rule? I have seen plenty over the years who are too old, alcoholic, violent, crazy….

      • PharmOwner

        < works upwards or 60 hours per week. It's all-consuming for me. And, no, I don't own multiple pharmacies.

    • Peter Ghobros

      Great idea. I like it.

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