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GPC steps up campaign for dispensing practices

Rural surgeries may be threatened by the rise in community pharmacies due to competition over dispensing, according to the Welsh GPC and a dispensing doctors’ group.

The GPC and the Dispensing Doctors Association have written to the Welsh Assembly’s health committee to flag up the importance of dispensing income to rural practices, and warning that there has been a ‘significant decline’ in the reimbursement for dispensing NHS medicines.

Dr Charlotte Jones, chair of the Welsh GPC, wrote: ‘Owing to the very tight financial situation, dispensing income has become a vital stream of funding for the provision of primary care services in many rural areas. The revenue that practices receive from providing dispensing services may not have been designed to subsidise the provision of general medical services in rural areas but in reality this is very much the case.’

It cited figures from the NHS Wales GP practice analysis that showed that between June 2013 and March 2014, the number of dispensing practices in Wales has dropped from 88 to 83 and the number of dispensing doctors has dropped by around 4%.

Earlier this year during the annual LMC conference in York, Jones described the GP profession in Wales as being in ‘intensive care’ due to inadequate resources and increased demands. ‘The workforce situation, unless urgently addressed, will further exacerbate the problems we face. If it sounds like a crisis, smells like a crisis, feels like a crisis then it is a crisis and that needs to be said.’​

Readers' comments (10)

  • GP dispensing is a scam which allows semi rural GPs to make a nice little extra profit; statistics show it is c £10-20k per partner extra per year. Money down the drain for the public purse.

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  • Anon 2:50 couldn't agree more dispensing GPs should be hung drawn and quartered and rural patients sold into slavery by the way without dispensing my income is £55000 pa and if you think I am working for that you can go and do one

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  • Dispensing GPs have enough foes without being sniped at from the enemy within. The ship is sinking, stop the crew fighting among themselves.

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  • Dispensing practices should be banned! It's such a conflict of interest and I haven't come across a single one that prescribing isn't influenced by the drug deals they can get...

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  • 3.58 And the patients will get a worse service. As part dispensing we get moans daily about the non dispensing patients wanting a better one stop shop service. Prescribing is influenced by so many different things, I'm sure you follow your CCG cost cutting guidence too.

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  • 3:58...are you a pharmacist? Is there any pharmacy that does not do shady deals?

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  • There are some Pharmacies that are charging high prices to the NHS for generics not in the drug tariff and then getting a huge clawback from the company they buy them from. Needless to say this disgusts me as well...

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  • Rural dispensing practices earn dispensing income - yes. Is it a large profit stream - no.
    @2:50 - so its OK for Lloyds or boots to make that money but not for the GP who is probably using a lot of it to pay rates etc to have the facility for their patients?
    @3:58 - indeed a pharmacist would say that. You don't have a conflict of interest do you? The number of patients who ask me to stop sending them inhalers, creams or pain killers is ridiculous - the pharmacist is requesting them (clearly not influenced by their conflict of interest of course) and not the patient - how does that work then?

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  • I work for CCG Meds Man and I don't agree with all the things mentioned! We work continually to stop all these things happening with GP surgeries, Pharmacies, disp practices etc etc... At the end of the day, it's the patients that suffer as more and more NHS/tax payer money is wasted, I can't see how any of these people can have a clear conscience or sleep at night...

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  • Some of the medication dispensed is very questionable, soluble aspirins that need to be ground several minutes, heaven knows what they do your stomach!

    I always try to have branded products and patients should be given the option to pay the difference if that is what they want.

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