See you in court

Guild seeks court action to check validity of Ramsay ownership arrangements

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has begun legal proceedings to seek clarity over whether the ownership of Ramsay-branded pharmacies meets pharmacy ownership requirements. 

According to court records, the proceedings will begin before the Equity division of the NSW Supreme Court on the 2 October 2018 in the case of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia v Ramsay Health Care Ltd.

AJP understands that the procedings were launched by the Guild and three pharmacist members. 

In a statement sent to AJP, the Guild cited public interest as well as legal issues as a reason to maintain and protect existing pharmacy ownership regulations.

The statement said: “The action taken in the NSW Supreme Court is to test the application of the pharmacy ownership section of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) in relation to certain recent pharmacy ownership transactions.

“The purpose is to test whether these transactions comply with the law in NSW, in particular, provisions in relation to who may have a financial interest in a pharmacy.

“The Pharmacy Guild in the public interest is committed to taking appropriate action to ensure that the pharmacy ownership rules in all States and Territories are maintained and enforced. 

“Governments around Australia have made clear that they support a policy of pharmacists owning and controlling community pharmacies. Pharmacist-only pharmacy ownership is fundamental to the community pharmacy model. The Guild believes that anything that undermines it is not in the public interest. 

“The matter is now before the Court and the Guild will not be making further comment during these proceedings”.

Ramsay Health Care had not responded to our request for comment at time of publication.

The Guild and Ramsay have had a history of sniping at each other since the health care provider made its intention clear to push into community pharmacy.

In 2017 it made major headway with the purchase of the Malouf pharmacy group (of 18 pharmacies).

Earlier this year, Ramsay’s submission to the ongoing Queensland pharmacy inquiry, and the comments of its pharmacy CEO Peter Giannopoulos when he appeared before the inquiry, had extolled the benefits of a corporate pharmacy structure.

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  1. Paige

    I’m sorry.. but where was their litigious enthusiasm when CWH used a corporate ownership structure to wipe our industry out over the last 10 years? This is hypocritical at best and blatant cronyism at worst. Not good enough.

    • fiquet

      What I was thinking as well !

    • The Cynic

      Agreed. Ownership laws have been circumvented, violated, abused for decades. This action, though welcome is long overdue.
      Perhaps Guild heavies have benefited from lax application of these laws for too long.

    • Mark Jacobs

      100% agree with this.
      Also, where is their internal investigation of Guild Members with silent financial partners, who are NOT pharmacists?

      The Guild hypocrisy is so strong.

      I’m a pharmacist leaving this profession and I support Ramsay and other similar groups that would deliver superior care to COMMUNITIES. Compared to Mr/Ms ABC who had a few hundred thousand and a pharmacy degree and.. yeah, no business or management training .. Just an archaic legislation and the Guild war chest behind them.

  2. Ugh

    I am curious as to why the Guild are going after Ramsey but are very very quiet on legitimate concerns about CWH??

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