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Pharmacy: Rural Areas

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will ensure that people in rural areas who use GP practices for prescription dispensation will remain able to do so. (219882)

The Government are committed providing the right services at the right time in the right place to meet patients’ needs.

The White Paper “Pharmacy in England; Building on Strengths—Delivering the Future” (copies have already been placed in the Library) looks at aligning the future provision of pharmaceutical services and sets out proposals to look at the market entry criteria for doctors and pharmacists, but no decision has yet been taken on the criteria to be used in future for patients to receive pharmaceutical services from their general practitioner.

A consultation paper will be launched next month that will look at the options for the future and will provide everyone with an opportunity to contribute, healthcare professional and patient alike. I refer my hon. Friend to the written statement I made on 17 July 2008, Official Report, column 49WS.

Following that consultation, we will consider fully the impact of any proposals on patients, the national health service and contractors.