Originally published in The Canberra Times on June 9, 2012

Why can the Pharmacy Guild get away with a deal with the government which limits competition? Rather than admit that it is a union working to maximise the income of its members, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia prefers to position itself as a ”professional association” concerned more with improving standards and delivering benefits for the community. We take for granted that cafes and restaurants will cluster near movie theatres and compete with each other on price and quality. Similarly, we take for granted that fruit and vegetable stores will cluster near supermarkets. But when it comes to pharmacies we are told it makes much more sense if they each have a monopoly in proximity to the local doctor.

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