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Pharmacy: Competition

Volume 488: debated on Friday 27 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that competition and choice are taken into consideration by primary care trusts when considering new pharmacy applications; and if he will make a statement. (258396)

The Department keeps the operation of the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005 under regular review. These regulations were substantially revised from April 2005 and introduced, among other measures, a new criterion of ‘reasonable choice’ to the regulatory test known as control of entry in order to improve choice with regard to the services and to the providers of such services that are available to patients and consumers and to promote more competition. The Department is considering carefully a recent judgment by the Court of Appeal on this matter and what further steps, if any, may be appropriate to ensure this aim is achieved.