DDA predicts MPs will block dispensing practice change

MPs look likely to block proposals threatening dispensing practices, according to the Dispensing Doctors' Association (DDA).

The DoH has been consulting on the Pharmacy White Paper, Pharmacy in England, Building the Future, which would tighten the rules on which practices could dispense to patients.

After months of lobbying all three political parties, DDA chief executive Dr David Baker said he has not yet met an MP who will not vote for the 'no change' option of the consultation, which ends this month.

Representatives from the DoH told the DDA's annual conference last week that 99 per cent of the 20,000 responses to the consultation were about dispensing doctors.

Dr Baker said attendance at the conference, where the DDA's response to the consultation was finalised, was heartening.

'I'm cautiously hopeful that the government will see now is not the time for major change.

'Hopefully nothing will change dramatically so that dispensing doctors and community pharmacists can continue to work together.'

The White Paper, published in April, suggests blocking prac-tices from dispensing if they are within a mile of a pharmacy. The DDA believes this would threaten up to 900 dispensing practices.

Dr Baker has previously told GP that dispensing in practices 'would be finished in a few years' if the proposals go ahead.

Dr Baker is due to meet new minister for care services Phil Hope, with the aim of ensuring that any changes to dispensing rules passed are introduced incrementally.

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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