Government about-face on pharmacy location rules

THE federal government has changed pharmacy location rules to allow large medical centres to house a pharmacy on site, but has denied it was the result of a recent accusation from a private clinic  that GP super  clinics were being granted special treatment.

The change was announced just days after MO reported (23 September) that a GP super clinic in Wodonga, Victoria, was set to have a pharmacy, despite a private medical centre in the same street not being allowed the same opportunity, because there was already an operating pharmacy nearby.

Effective from 18 October, the changes will mean pharmacists no longer need an existing pharmacy approval to set up in shopping centres, large medical centres, private hospitals or towns with one pharmacy.

Tests determining population demands for a pharmacy will also be simplified.

Dr Khaled El-Sheikh, owner of the Tristar Medical Centre in Wodonga, welcomed the change and said that rather