The Pharmacy White Paper consultation, “Pharmacy in England: Building on strengths - delivering the future, Options for legislative change”, was launched on 27 August 2008 and closed on 20 November 2008.
The consultation included four options in relation to dispensing doctors.
Option 1: No change to existing criteria.
Option 2: Retain controlled localities and allow primary care trusts to determine dispensing rights based on local pharmaceutical needs assessments.
Option 3: Retain controlled localities and replace existing ‘patient-to-pharmacy’ distance criterion with ‘practice-to-pharmacy’ distance criterion, allowing dispensing practices to dispense to all patients on their list.
Option 4: As option 3 but also include a criterion that there is a second pharmacy in close proximity.
The Department received 62,733 responses relating to the options for dispensing by doctors. Of these, 62,675 were in favour of option 1; 21 were in favour of option 2; nine were in favour of option 3; 14 were in favour of option 3 and 4; and 14 were in favour of option 4. In addition, we received 18 miscellaneous letters and 13 petitions.
As a result of the responses to the consultation, and the views expressed at listening events, I announced on 16 December 2008 that there would be no change to the arrangements by which general practitioners may dispense to their patients.