6 Dec 2010

Discount pharmacy accuses competitors of price gouging

2:13 pm on 6 December 2010

The owner of a pharmacy in Christchurch offering big price discounts says competitors' price gouging has meant some people can't afford the medicines they need.

The first Christchurch Community Pharmacy opens today, promising to undercut what it calls profiteering rivals by up to 40%, and to halve prescription fees.

It claims pharmacies have been putting substantial mark-ups on antihistamines and pain relief in particular.

But the retail group Pharmacybrand, which buys for 30 pharmacies, says its buying power keeps prices competitive.

It says with the exception of higher prescription turnover, this year has been tough for pharmacies and it expects discount businesses will struggle to make a profit.