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The Big Interview with Dr Richard West, DDA


What a missed opportunity Richard but I am not surprised! You should be ashamed of yourself. It is not often dispensing doctors have the opportunity of illustrating the benefits to patients and to the NHS of the seamless and integrated system for the provision of medicines DDs offer and fear you have let the side down very badly. Patients have a major problem because the wealthy pharmacy corporations have such political influence. The proper place for the pharmacist is within a properly integrated primary healthcare team, surely? Not employed by profit driven corporations, whose only allegiance is to its shareholders. Surely it is time for the Government to be shown that the separating of prescribing and dispensing in time place and person is antiquated, inefficient and prone to errors and is a hangover from a non-technological age intended to prevent abuse but has enebled a different kind of abuse. In addition medicines are not free for the vast majority of patients who are overcharged for the cheaper medicines they could obtain from their doctors privately, but this is prevented by the anticompetitive and possibly unlawful prohibition on the private sale of medicines by GPs. When a pharmacy opened in my village of 8,000 residents here in Claydon it completely destabilised my practice with the loss of income of £50,000 per annum, causing the loss of a second doctor and made the practice almost financially unviable. When I retire, which won't be long, this large community will have a pharmacy but no doctor and as if to rub salt in the wounds, it was opened for a company owned by the doctors of a distant practice. I resigned from the DDA board some time ago when it became apparent that the DDA had become dominated by pharmacy owners, both chairman and the vice chairman! So no real surprise at such poor performance.

Posted date

21 Jan 2013

Posted time