DoH consults on dispensing doctors

The government has published its next consultation on the Pharmacy White Paper.

It outlines four options for dispensing doctors with the DoH stating no preference.

  • Option 1: no change. Fails to address whether GP dispensing can be justified when there is a pharmacy in close proximity.
  • Option 2: Removing existing specific distance criteria. Allows PCTs to determine rural localities where GP dispensing is appropriate.
  • Option 3: Instead of the distance between the patient’s home and the pharmacy, the determining factor should be a distance between the dispensing surgery and the nearest community pharmacy. Such a distance could be put at less than the current 1.6km. This removes the question of a practice having dispensing and non-dispensing patients.
  • Option 4: A GP would not dispense where there is a pharmacy within 500 metres or 1,000 metres of the GP practice and a second pharmacy within 1500 metres. Those who are permitted to dispense may do so to all their registered patients regardless of the distance between their home and the surgery or pharmacy. This option maintains an element of choice for patients when having their drugs dispensed and has a less pronounced effect on GP dispensing.

The Dispensing Doctors Association and Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee have yet to comment on the consultation.

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