Case Study Of Pharmaceutical Society Of Great Britain V Boots Cash Chemist

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Case note


Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots cash chemist (Southern) Ltd was a Court of Appeal decision on the nature of an offer. The court held that a display of an item in a store with a price tag is not enough to constitute an offer. Such a display would be a mere invitation to treat.
Boots implemented a new method for customers to buy medicine. As opposed to earlier practices where medicines were stored behind a counter and an assistant would get what the customer wanted, the company allowed customers to pick drugs off the shelves and pay for them at the till. The Pharmaceutical Society objected to this practice and contended that Boots was in breach of s 18(1) of the Pharmacy and Poisons Act 1933. The Act required pharmacist to supervise the sale of some products listed on the Acts schedule of poisons.
The Society’s argument was that the display of products was an offer, which was accepted when the customer selected and placed the products into the shopping basket. Because a pharmacist did not supervise this process, Boots was in breach of the Act. Boots argument was that the sale was effected at the till and was supervised in accordance with the Act. The lower court had found that the method used by Boots was not in contravention of the Act. Pharmaceutical Society appealed the decision.
The question before the court was the stage of the purchase where the offer was accepted. The court also inquired into whether a

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