(2) what assessment his Department has made of the competition implications of not extending the same prescription fee structure to dispensing appliance contractors and to pharmacies; and if he will make a statement.
A review of the arrangements under Part IX of the Drug tariff for the provision of stoma and urology items—and related services—in primary care is currently under way. One of the stated aims of the review is that it seeks to make service provided by and payment provision to dispensing appliance contractors (DACs) and pharmacy contractors more equitable. A number of proposals have been put forward in consultation issued by the Department and extending the expensive prescription fee to DACs has been raised by respondents and will therefore be considered. The consultation closed in September 2008; details of the how this work will progress in light of responses and a final impact assessment will be published in the new year.