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Pharmacies

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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11.42 pm

More than 5,000 of my constituents have signed a petition expressing concern that local pharmacies in York might be caused to close if the Government were to implement the recommendation of the Office of Fair Trading to allow pharmacies to open without approval from NHS authorities. The petition is signed by Susan Hargrave, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and many others, and reads as follows:

To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled.

The Humble Petition of Residents of York sheweth that they wish to preserve local pharmacies and safeguard their continued services to local communities. Wherefore your Petitioners pray that your honourable House urges the Government to reject the proposals of the Office of Fair Trading that would allow unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions.

And your Petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.

To lie upon the Table.

11.43 pm

My petition, on behalf of my constituents, is also on the subject of pharmacies. I have a large rural constituency of about 600 square miles. The pharmacists have gathered signatures from the towns in and around Cullompton, Honiton, Crediton, Tiverton, Bampton and Ottery St. Mary.

The Control of Entry Regulations which were introduced in 1987 would be revoked if the recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading report were to be accepted by the Government. My constituents send a petition to the House of Commons on behalf of pharmacists and their customers in the Tiverton and Honiton constituency.

It declares that

the Office of Fair Trading Report on pharmacies would threaten the future of their local services and urges the Government to reject the proposals that would allow unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions, and to preserve local pharmacies and safeguard their continued services to local communities.

And the Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons takes whatever action it can to block the proposals.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.

11.45 pm

I, too, have the honour to present a petition on behalf of constituents who are extremely concerned about the effect of the Office of Fair Trading report on local pharmacies. The 1,778 people who have signed this petition all come from the town of Wootton Bassett or its surrounding area, and they are customers of C.M.L. Jones and Partner, the main pharmacist in the high street of Wootton Bassett. The petition states:

The petition of Residents of Wootton Bassett, particularly of CML Jones and Partner, Pharmacists of Wootton Bassett, their customers and others

Declares that the proposals made by the Office of Fair Trading allowing the unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions will precipitate chaotic changes to the distribution of pharmaceutical services; lead to less convenient access for many patients, particularly the elderly and those without transport and have a detrimental impact on the contribution made to primary care services by community pharmacies.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to reject the proposals made by the OFT for the unrestricted opening of pharmacies.

And the petitioners remain etc.

To lie upon the Table.