Khanbhai backs small pharmacies Jul03
Khanbhai, Conservative Euro MP for the East of England, has rejected the
government's announcement on the issue of lifting restrictions on the
number of pharmacies operating in Britain. While rightly rejecting a
complete deregulation of the pharmaceutical market, as called for by the
Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the government has also agreed to a number
of damaging exemptions.
OFT study published in January, argued for the removal of entry barriers
in the pharmacy industry, which could have resulted in legislation
allowing supermarkets to open in-house pharmacies competing directly and
unfairly with independent chemists. At present, supermarket pharmacies are
only permitted wherever there is a genuine need and where they do not pose
a threat to independent chemists rendering a valuable service to the local
the new proposals, pharmacies which remain open for more than 100 hours a
week would be exempt from regulation along with pharmacies intending to
open up in large shopping centres, defined as more than 15,000 square
metres in size.
on this decision, Mr. Khanbhai, a qualified pharmacist who has been
campaigning against the OFT's recommendations said:
decision is completely irrational because the proposed exemptions will
simply lead to de-regulation of the market by the back door.
independent pharmacies provide a vital service. Allowing exemptions to
these regulations would threaten the survival of the thousands of local
pharmacies which many older people and those living in rural communities
greatly rely on."