Friendly Society Pharmacies
Friendly Society Pharmacies are not-for-profit entities, which have owned and operated pharmacies continuously since the 1840's. They are representative of the long tradition of community services provided by many entities in a range of industries but especially in the primary health care and related industries.
Although they have operated continuously since the first Friendly Society Dispensary was established in Sydney in 1847 their operations have always been bitterly opposed by the representatives of the commercial pharmacists.
The purpose of the Friendly Societies in establishing their own Dispensaries was to ensure the supply to their members of quality medicines as prescribed and at affordable prices. They were able to do this because the Dispensaries were established and operated on true not-for-profit principles.
The restrictive provisions were introduced for commercial and economic purposes for the benefit of the commercial pharmacist and not for professional reasons or on public health grounds. The parliamentary debates of the day made this quite clear.
However, since then and gradually over time the present legislative restrictions applying to Friendly Society Pharmacies have been increasingly represented and promoted as being required in order to protect the community on public health grounds.