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LloydsPharmacy insists branch buyers use AAH as primary wholesaler

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LloydsPharmacy insists branch buyers use AAH as primary wholesaler

By Neil Trainis

Exclusive: LloydsPharmacy is insisting buyers of branches it has put up for sale must agree to use AAH Pharmaceuticals as the business’s primary wholesaler for at least three years from the date the sale has been completed.

Independent Community Pharmacist has seen the legally-binding clause in a copy of the purchase agreement.

It is unclear to what extent buyers would be allowed to use other wholesalers as part of the agreement given LloydsPharmacy’s insistence they use AAH as the branch’s “primary wholesaler” and if the clause applies to all LloydsPharmacy branches up for sale in the UK or only in some parts of the country.

LloydsPharmacy did not answer those questions when contacted and instead said it had “nothing further to add.”

One pharmacist, however, questioned whether the clause raises anti-competition issues given pharmacists are normally free to choose which wholesaler they use. The Competition and Markets Authority does not speculate on investigations it may or may not launch.

It was recently revealed LloydsPharmacy, the second largest pharmacy chain in the UK, is selling branches across England, Scotland and Wales having decided to withdraw its pharmacies from Sainsbury's.

LloydsPharmacy also recently decided to stop providing pharmacy services to the Scottish prison service.

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