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Community Pharmacies

Volume 404: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2003

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7.25 pm

It gives me great pleasure to rise to present a petition, signed by 2,873 of my constituents—mainly from the towns of Dunstable and Houghton Regis and the surrounding villages—about the preservation of community pharmacies. Although my constituents do not think that the current system is absolutely perfect, they are certainly severely worried that the proposals in the Office of Fair Trading report would be a retrograde step.

The petition reads as follows:

To the House of Commons

The Petition of the residents of South-West Bedfordshire

Declares that local communities are best served by local, community-based pharmacies, and that the OFT's recommendations to abolish the "control of entry" regulation would seriously damage local pharmacies.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to reject the proposals that allow unrestricted opening of pharmacies able to dispense NHS prescriptions, and to preserve local pharmacies and safeguard their continuing provision of services to local communities.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.