Finding the cheapest chemists

  • Reporter: James Thomas
  • Broadcast Date: May 19, 2010

We picked 10 of the most popular pharmacy items and compared their prices across all retail outlets and online.

In the online corner is Brenton Le Grand from Pharmacy Online. He said the edge his company has is buying power.

"We can negotiate great wholesale rates with our suppliers and with a lot of the big businesses," he said.

"And pass on the savings to the consumers."

His website attracts 2000 new members every week but competition has never been hotter.

"It's quite a competitive landscape which can only help the consumer, there's more competition," Brenton said.

"If they research online there's more opportunity to compare prices."

Damien Gantz from Chemist Warehouse said you can find discounts of up to 50 per cent.

It now has more than 200 stores across the country and promises to be the cheapest in the land.

"What Chemist Warehouse delivers is for the price-conscious consumer who knows what they want," Damien said.

"They can come in and get the best prices on everything they need every day."

He also boasts a price guarantee.

"If perchance there is a single skew within your shopping basket where you find were beaten, we guarantee to match that price," Damien said.

On the local front, corner store pharmacist Kevin Santos represents the 5000 chemists around the country.

"It's more than just price, it's the overall service we offer," he said.

"We know most of our customers, we know the medication they take, we know the allergies they have.

"We can recommend the best medication for them knowing all that information with personalised service and care."

Survey results

For price-conscious consumers, here are the results of our price survey of various chemist items.

Pharmacy Online had the cheapest prices, the total basket costing $214.

Next was Chemist Warehouse with a total price for the same items of $224 but the price guarantee is definitely a handy bargaining chip.

Kevin's own pharmacy, the Santos Centre Pharmacy, came next totalling $240 proving they are getting more competitive with the online pharmacies.

In comparison Coles prices were nearly $300 and we found the same items at Priceline for $260.