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Ramsay will not be “backing off” in the face of Guild legal action

Ramsay Health Care says it will continue progressing the development of its pharmacy franchise network as it is in the “best interests of both consumers and the pharmacy profession generally”.

As revealed by AJP earlier this week, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has begun legal proceedings in NSW against Ramsay “to seek clarity over whether the ownership of Ramsay-branded pharmacies meets pharmacy ownership requirements”.

The case is set to begin before the Equity division of the NSW Supreme Court on the 2 October 2018.

Responding to the legal proceedings, Ramsay Pharmacy CEO Peter Giannopoulos said: “The Ramsay Pharmacy Group, in its capacity as a retail pharmacy franchisor and in conjunction with its franchisees, has worked openly and collaboratively with regulators across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, to establish a consumer-focused and successful community health care network”.

“We will vigorously defend any action brought by the Guild,” he said. “Just as we have done with hospitals in Australia for over 50 years, we are together with our franchisees creating a community health franchise network that is focused on people – our consumers and all Ramsay Pharmacy staff – and ensuring that cost-effective medication and superior consumer outcomes are delivered”.

Mr Giannopoulos said Ramsay Pharmacy and its franchisees would continue to work in a collaborative manner with all regulators so that the Ramsay Pharmacy Franchise Network, which currently consists of 54 franchise community pharmacies, “may continue to expand for the benefit of communities, patients and pharmacists across Australia”.

Ramsay Health Care had been delivering clinical pharmacy services through its pharmacy departments and hospital dispensaries for over a decade and is seeking to provide further support to patients in an integrated system, he said.

“Our pharmacy franchisees also have the benefit of calling on the large and extensive resources of the Ramsay Health Care network including training and career development, clinical governance, risk management and research.”

The Guild had previously said it was acting in the public interest by “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”. 

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