New Vic pharmacy rules
THE Victorian Pharmacy Authority (VPA) has warned of significant changes to approval processes for new pharmacy premises, including consideration of cases where there may be “undisclosed proprietary interests or undue influence”.
The measures are seen as likely to impact on pharmacies launching under a range of strongly-branded franchise groups such as Chemist Warehouse, Ramsay Pharmacy and others, involving “increased scrutiny of pharmacy business commercial arrangements”.
Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and those initially assessed as high risk involving complex and technical commercial arrangements or having apparent gaps in supplied documentation - to be referred to a monthly meeting of the Authority for further consideration.
The committee then may refer these applications to external lawyers, accountants or auditors.
The VPA has warned the new processes may result in increased costs to licensees as well as extended processing times.
Guidelines on pharmacy business commercial arrangements are currently being developed, with further details available this month.
“The Authority will continue to assess franchise agreements for compliance with the ownership and undue influence provisions of the Act progressively on a risk basis,” a VPA communiqué said yesterday.