Australia’s largest pharmacy retailer is calling on the federal government to stop "propping up" small local chemists and allow competition to bring down medicine costs, including through free scripts for pensioners. Chemist Warehouse chief operating officer Mario Tascone said the rules governing pharmacies – which prevent heavy discounting of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines for pensioners and stop new chemists opening near existing ones – were "outdated" and should be radically overhauled. Chemist Warehouse wants the freedom to offer bigger discounts. Credit:Brook Mitchell "It’s the only protected industry in Australia and in the year 2019, these rules make no sense. We’re the only country in the world that does it," Mr Tascone told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age . Health Minister Greg Hunt is negotiating a new five-year agreement with the powerful Pharmacy Guild, which represents 5700 local pharmacies across Australia. The deal, expected to be finalised […]