FIJI PHARMACIES WARNED ABOUT PRICE GOUGING

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Threatened with deregistration over unfair practices

By Repeka Nasiko SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, Jan. 6, 2011) – Pharmacies in Fiji will face deregistration of their businesses if they continue to undergo unfair trade practices says Health minister Dr. Neil Sharma.

Dr. Sharma made this comment in light of recent findings of a survey conducted by the Consumer Council which found that certain pharmacies were over charging consumers for prescription drugs.

The survey found that some pharmacies sold the same medicines (brand, dosage and batch number) at different prices.

In a joint press conference with Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Dr. Sharma said pharmacies needed to acknowledge that they have conducting unfair trade practices.

"There have been breaches and unfair trade practices by the pharmaceutical sector and those compliance agencies have not been vigilant," said Dr. Sharma.

Sayed-Khaiyum reiterated Sharma’s concerns adding that it is now up to the Pharmaceutical Society to apply more strict laws and rules to ensure that drug pharmacies do not continue with these unlawful acts.

"When businesses operate they need to operate under the law," added Sayed-Khaiyum.

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