.Shame on the pharmacists of New Zealand who over charge sick tourists during holiday periods.
New Zealand’s pharmacy prices are already among the highest in the OECD with a wholesale mark up of 10% over the manufacturer’s price plus the pharmacy’s mark up (in the USA the wholesale mark up is around 2-4 %). But that doesn’t stop unscrupulous owners from over charging visitors who need essential medications.
How many pharmacists do you know in New Zealand who brag about how much money they’re making. It’s all well and good to get on in life and good luck to them, but at what cost to the sick and needy?
One chemist in a holiday area was charging an additional $10 per prescription, supposedly to cover staff holiday pay rates, on Boxing Day. In parallels to a famous Dickensian tale, the medication was to treat a small boy’s leg infection. According to an article in today’s NZ Herald
Kathryn Trotter was surprised when Waihi Beach Chemist charged an extra $10 for a prescription on Boxing Day. Trotter’s eight-year-old son Alex required antibiotics for an infection on his legs… Waihi Beach Chemist manager Sara Preston said staff wouldn’t charge the surcharge in an “absolute emergency”.“We use our discretion. It’s a maximum of $10 per prescription,” she said. “If it was seven items we wouldn’t [charge $70 extra].”
Screen shot of a reddit thread sent to us by a reader
“Avalon’s Guide recommends using OneClick Pharmacy. She worked in a pharmacy for 10 years and knows that people are getting ripped off. She says she saves around $200 an order by getting it from the UK. I’ve not used it myself but I’ll going to give it a go”. http://www.avalonsguide.com/anab/2012/08/oneclick-pharmacy-is-it-worth-the-hassle
As you know, I refuse to pay the extortionate prices that NZ pharmacies charge for basic painkillers, and switched to buying from the UK based OneClick Pharmacy, saving hundreds of dollars on each order. I buy as much stuff as I can, because the prices are – basically – fantastic after putting up with the NZ overcharging for 7 years, so my orders usually come to within 80-150 range quite easily. That’s a lot of money to spend at a pharmacy in the UK. To be honest – in 10 years of working in pharmacies, I don’t think Ive ever taken a payment that high without it being for some sort of Machine, or a private prescription for something really out of the ordinary. But at that kind of level, I am actually saving about $200 per order on what it would cost me here. So, I am prepared to put up with some crap service, SLOOOOOW service, and a bit of annoyance.”
Avalon’s Guide told us
Phillip Owen told us
“You don’t have to order from abroad just shop around. The Herald did an investigation into the standard price for prescription drugs and said consumers could save thousands. They randomly selected 10 pharmacies in Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton and asked for the price of six common medications.
“one month’s supply of cholesterol management drug Vytorin was $120 at Auckland’s Westfield St Lukes – $16 more than average and $41 more than the cheapest outlet, Waugh’s Pharmacy in Tauranga. The best value Avigra, a generic brand of the sex drug Viagra, was 20 per cent cheaper than the standard rate and hair-loss drug Propecia cost between $123 and $97. By shopping around you could save nearly $1 a tablet or $1679 over five years” from Consumer Watchdog: Cheap Drugs http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10767264
Under circumstances where people are denied freedom of choice we advise them to make full use of online pharmacy services as much as possible whilst in New Zealand. .Do you know of a rip-off pharmacy or grossly inflated prices? Have you ever not filled a prescription because of the cost? What’s the most you’ve ever been charged for a box of aspirin in New Zealand? Know a pharmacist that’s getting rich off the poor of the land? Have any tips on how to get around the grossly inflated prices ? We’d like to hear from you.
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Seasickness medication not always available in Kaikoura. If you’re visiting Kaikoura take your own from home, there is only one chemist in town and he has no sympathy with those who think seasickness meds are available over the counter in NZ, or that they’ll be able to shop for them at hours that match up with tour boats departures…
“I have people call me after hours, on Sunday mornings, asking for medication.
“I had a woman call me on a Sunday morning and ask me ‘Am I not obligated to help’. I’ve had this discussion a thousand times. Individuals are responsible for their own health and well-being.”
McKee said complaints often mention countries where the drugs are available over the counter, but his response is that many dangerous and illegal drugs area also easily available… more
Tough luck if you’re used to picking up your Kwells with a loaf of bread and a ripe Brie at Asda, or Tesco.
Visiting NZ? take your own meds with you.
More Rip Off NZ Stories
- NZ A trip to the third world – watch your wallet (Winston Peters)
- “Immigrants that come to live here usually buy online from home. The Government needs to penalise these people.”Auckland Expensive, Cost Of Living Explodes, Poverty Increasing.
- Rip Off New Zealand: Buy Your All Blacks Jersey Overseas, It’s Cheaper
- Swimmers flee shark at Waihi beach (stuff.co.nz)
- Rugby league to investigate Kiwis’ use of pills (stuff.co.nz)
- Ungrateful New Zealand Complains About Poor, Low Quality Tourists (e2nz.org)
- Australian Tourist Attacked in Paintball Driveby in Hanmer Springs (e2nz.org)