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General Practitioners: Pharmacy

Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the future of dispensing GP practices in (a) Kettering constituency, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) England. (243865)

Following publication of the White Paper “Pharmacy in England—Building on Strengths, Delivering the Future” in April, a consultation on proposals for reform was carried out between 27 August 2008 and 20 November 2008. The consultation included partial impact assessments on the four options relating to control of entry for dispensing doctors. The impact assessments looked at the likely effect of each of the options on dispensing doctors in England—they did not look at individual localities.

We recognise the concerns that are being expressed by dispensing doctors, their staff and patients. There is no intention to abolish dispensing doctors. They play an important role in ensuring continued access to pharmaceutical services and providing patient care for those who need it. We will make our decision as quickly as possible, following full consideration of the tens of thousands of responses received.