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Volume 485: debated on Monday 15 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the benefits and disbenefits which multiple dispensing licences have for dispensing appliance contractors under (a) the current on-cost system and (b) the system of remuneration proposed by his Department. (242907)

Consultation on a number of proposals for legislative and structural reform to NHS pharmaceutical services arising from the White Paper “Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths—delivering the future” was launched on 27 August 2008. It ended on the 20 November 2008.

The consultation included options to reform market entry arrangements for dispensing appliance contractors. An impact assessment containing the Department's assessment of possible costs and benefits was published alongside the consultation on which views and comments were invited. Responses are being analysed. We will come forward with decisions once we have fully considered these and what, if any, action is appropriate. A copy of the impact assessment that accompanied the consultation has been placed in the Library.