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

Teina Pora Wins Appeal: Gordon Campbell On The Privy Council Decision

The quashing of the convictions of Teina Pora for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in 1992 has shone a spotlight once again on a major gap in the New Zealand justice system.

To all intents and purposes, access by New Zealanders to the Privy Council has now been closed. Yet the number of times in recent years when the Privy Council has quashed the findings of New Zealand courts has demonstrated that we are regularly
(a) jailing the wrong person or
(b) arriving at guilty verdicts on grounds sufficiently flawed as to raise serious doubts that a miscarriage of justice has occurred. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Urgent Bill Planned: MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news