Asda has told the Office of Fair Trading that current restrictions on pharmacies mean customers are being overcharged by £420m a year. The supermarket is arguing for a complete overhaul of the system which would increase the number of pharmacies by 10% in the UK in new locations. In its submission Asda claims that most high street NHS-contracted pharmacies have failed to pass on lower prices in the wake of the abolition of retail price maintenance last May because they are operating from the safety of a closed market. Asda says only two of the 15 applications for pharmacy contracts it has made over the past two years have been approved, despite high customer demand. The UK market has been static at around 12,000 operators for a decade. {{NEWS }}

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