Practices face losing dispensing rights3rd September 2008
Documents from the Department of Health have indicated that more than 700 GP practices look set to lose their dispensing rights if the government presses ahead with plans set out in the Pharmacy White Paper.
Under the proposal, all dispensing practices within one kilometres of a pharmacy will be forced to stop dispensing. Other options include no change, or letting primary care trust’s decide locally after carrying out needs assessments.
The official estimate of 716 practices affected emerged as the Department of Health launched a consultation on the proposed changes to the dispensing rights of practices located close to existing pharmacies.
Doctors' leaders feel the plan could have an "absolutely devastating effect" on practices; seeing 5,500 jobs lost and dispensing practices lose half their income.
The government says that its data indicates it would cost practices a total of £21m and the equivalent of 128 full-time equivalent GPs.
The move would see about 18% of the patients, who usually collect their prescription at their GP practice, lose that right.
Dr David Baker, chief executive of the Dispensing Doctors' Association, said: "The calculations are illogical. They haven't taken into account what will happen once they change these criteria. Pharmacists will move closer to doctors forcing them to stop dispensing, as it will make good business sense to do so."
The GPC is in the process of putting together an alternative cost and impact assessment to the government figures. It is planning to strongly argue the case for the "no change" option.
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Friday 5th September 2008 @ 20:19
The usual lack of joined-up thinking from this administration. Clearly the commercial pharmacy lobby have been busy! This goes against the government's stated aim of introducing one stop healthcare.If it isn't broken don't try to fix it.
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Title: Practices face losing dispensing rights
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 8127
Date Added: 3rd Sep 2008