Pharmacy price free-for-all: Letter

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The Independent Online
Sir: Glenda Cooper's report ("Prices to fall in free-for-all at the pharmacy", 19 October) about the possible abolition of resale price maintenance contained a table titled "Big savings in store for customers". Alas, this table had no place within the arguments put forward.

It compared prices of branded products with a supermarket's own-label equivalents. However, own-label equivalents have been available for many years (in local pharmacies, too), and the potential big savings implied already exist.

The savings will come if branded products drop in price; the difference between branded and own-label goods has nothing to do with the RPM issue. If RPM does go, it will undoubtedly mean savings on branded goods - but only coppers. The implications for those who rely on pharmacy services could be far more costly.

SELWYN LEARNER

London SE1

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