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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr BURY (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is addressed to the Minister for Health. Is the Federated Pharmaceutical Service Guild of Australia the body which negotiates with the Commonwealth Government on matters concerning pharmaceutical benefits? Does this body or its State branches accept royalties or commissions from the manufacturers of certain patent medicines, in return for which it permits the term "A Guild Product " to be used by one manufacturer only of each product, thereby conferring on such firms a very considerable commercial advantage? If so, is this a restrictive practice which effectively curtails competition and thus increases the price which the public has to pay for essential drugs? Does this practice in any way affect the cost to the taxpayers of the extensive pharmaceutical benefits which they now provide for themselves through the agency of the Commonwealth Government?

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