Australian C-Stores Push for Pharmacy Services

To gain greater customer appeal, convenience retailers look to offer lower cost prescriptions.

August 12, 2019

CANBERRA, Australia—The c-store industry in Australia is pushing to relax laws that exclude 24-hour c-stores from selling pharmacy products and prescription medicines, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Jeff Rogut, chief executive of the Australasian Association of Convenience Stores, said prescription medications were high on the list of additional goods and services customers wanted to see in their outlets. He also added that it’s enticing to look at a concept similar to CVS or Walgreens.

"When we do surveys of our customers, pharmacy ranks up there with things like postal services as one of the top items they would like to see in a convenience store," Rogut told the newspaper.

Economists say that opening up the pharmacy sector would help reduce prices and improve accessibility for those who need prescriptions. The Pharmacy Guild, however, is fiercely opposed to any rule changes or allowances.

Rogut said most convenience stores were open for extended hours and could offer pharmacy services around the clock. For now, the government is waiting for early and inclusive consultations on the proposed change.