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General Practitioners: Pharmacy

Volume 488: debated on Monday 23 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many responses his Department received to the Pharmacy White Paper consultation on dispensing GPs. (254278)

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.