Yesterday, a group of private pharmacy owners started a petition called Pharmacists Speak Out!, which opposes planned changes to the law, as they feel the legislation is good for certain large businesses, but bad for patients.
They plan to collect at least 2,000 signatures before the petition is put to Parliament in September, when the changes will be discussed. The pharmacists want the government to tighten the criteria for those operating pharmacies, ensuring they have the necessary pharmacological education.
The pharmacists also want the government to prohibit companies from owning chains of pharmacies and of being able to offer loyalty rewards to customers. They feel that operators of pharmacies should be limited to owning just one pharmacy, which is common practice in other EU countries.