Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Commission Issues Warning Over ‘No Discounting’ Clause

Commission Issues Warning Over ‘No Discounting’ Clause


Issued 13 February 2014


The Commerce Commission has warned all New Zealand District Health Boards (DHBs) and pharmacies nationwide that “no discounting” clauses in the 2012 Community Pharmacy Services Agreement (CPSA) are likely to have breached s 27 of the Commerce Act 1986.


The Pharmacy Guild has also been warned for its role in advocating for the inclusion of the clauses in the CPSA.


The CPSA is a standard form agreement between each DHB and each community pharmacy for the provision of pharmaceutical services to the public. The Commission believes that two of the clauses in the 2012 agreement had the effect of prohibiting pharmacies from waiving, or discounting, the $5 pharmaceutical co-payment paid by patients for the dispensing of each prescription item.


Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry said, “On receiving notice of our investigation, the DHBs took action and removed the restrictive clause from the agreements at the start of 2013. This meant that a warning letter was an appropriate response.”


Dr Berry said that removing this clause was also an excellent outcome for consumers who stand to benefit from pharmacies being able to compete on prescription charges.


“Once the no discounting clause was removed, two pharmacies in lower socio-economic areas in Christchurch and Auckland advertised discounting again and noticed an increase in the number of prescriptions being dispensed.”


“The outcome of this investigation sends a number of important messages to the parties involved. Government agencies must consider the effects on competition when entering into procurement contracts,” Dr Berry said.


“Pharmacies and other health providers must also remember that they are in competition with each other despite the collegial nature of their professions. And professional associations, such as the Guild, are also subject to the Act and need to give attention to complying with the competition laws,” said Dr Berry.


A copy of the warning letter to DHBs, pharmacies and the Pharmacy Guild can be viewed athttp://www.comcom.govt.nz/business-competition/competition-enforcement-outcomes/commerce-act-enforcement-actions-register/


Background
Community pharmacy services are funded by the Government via a standard services agreement, the CPSA. The CPSA is entered into by each DHB and service provider (ie, pharmacy) and typically re-negotiated every three years. The CPSA covers the provision and funding of core pharmacy services, as well as certain other specified pharmacy services. The 2012 CPSA, which came into effect on 1 July 2012, overhauls the way pharmacists are paid by DHBs and is being phased in over a two year transition period.


The 2012 CPSA caps nationwide payments to pharmacists at $370.5m per year. Under the 2012 CPSA, pharmacists will be paid by the government via DHBs for services provided rather than for the number of items dispensed.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Easter: Have A Safe Holiday And/Or Don't Mislead On Surcharges

Commerce Commission: “Businesses that do apply a surcharge must ensure people are alerted to this before they make a decision to purchase. This gives consumers the ability to decide whether they are prepared to pay a surcharge or would rather go elsewhere,” Ms Rawlings said.

“The reason for the surcharge must be accurately described and must not mislead consumers. For example a business must not claim their surcharge on Easter Sunday is because it is a public holiday, as the only public holidays over the Easter weekend are Good Friday and Easter Monday.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Law Foundation Report: New Zealand Going Backwards On Human Rights

Greens: A report released today, Fault lines: Human Rights in New Zealand, looked at our commitment to six different international human rights treaties and found New Zealand sorely lacking in our commitment to human rights in practice to the point we’re going backwards. More>>

ALSO:

War Prep: “Gerrymandering” The Iraq Deployment

NZ First: “On Tuesday, it was ‘up to 50 troops’ training in Australia but yesterday that number grew to 100... Given pre-deployment training and now integrated training with the Australian Army, it seems to go beyond the supposed training role our men and women are meant to be tasked with undertaking.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Inadequate Response To Sexual Violence Prevention

On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the attitudes of ACC staff towards sexual violence victims, and offering them more substantive support.

Hopefully, this will help to reverse the damage done with the insensitive, punitive ACC policy put in place by the incoming Key government in 2009, which in some parts of New Zealand, saw 90 per cent of sexual violence victims being turned away by ACC. More>>

ALSO:

Child, Youth and Family Review:

"To Help Families Get Ahead": April 1 Changes Kick In

Prime Minister John Key says Paid Parental Leave, the parental tax credit, the minimum wage and Superannuation will increase, while average ACC levies will fall, and more people will be helped in to home ownership... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Ministers Exclude Emissions From ‘Environment Reporting'

The National Party Government has today revealed that the national environmental report topics for this year will, incredibly, exclude New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, the Green Party said today. More>>

ALSO:

No Retrial: Freedom At Last For Teina Pora

The Māori Party is relieved that the Privy Council has cleared the final legal hurdle for Teina Pora who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison for 22 years. More>>

ALSO:

Germanwings Crash: Privacy Act Supports Aviation Safeguards In New Zealand

Reports that German privacy laws may have contributed to the Germanwings air crash have prompted New Zealand’s Privacy Commissioner to reassure the public that the Privacy Act is no impediment to medical practitioners notifying appropriate authorities to a pilot’s health concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Taranaki Iwi Ngāruahine Settles Treaty Claims For $67.5mln

The settlement includes a $13.5 million payment the government made in June 2013, as well as land in the Taranaki region. The settlement also includes four culturally significant sites, the Waipakari Reserve, Te Kohinga Reserve, Te Ngutu o te Manu and Te Poho o Taranaki. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news