HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 4 April 2016

Analysis: Hub-and-spoke will never dispense 40% of medicines

01 April 2016, Chemist and Druggist, Lilian Anekwe


In a consultation document published last month, the Department of Health estimated that between 40-70% of medicines dispensed by ‘spoke’ pharmacies would still have to be assembled on site. This document echoes England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, Keith Ridge claim last year that the model could dispense two thirds of the country’s prescriptions.


DH consults on hub and spoke model for pharmacies

04 April 2016, Dispensing Doctor, Alisa Colquhoun


The Department of Health has estimated that up to half of independent and small multiple pharmacies could use the proposed hub-and-spoke model to dispense about 45% of medicines. This could help reduce pharmacy staff costs, although it would take up to three years to achieve these savings.

Parliamentary Coverage

Healthcare Distribution Association launched at parliamentary reception

30 March 2016,

As a result of the NHS medicines supply chain going through a tremendous amount of change driven by patient needs, innovation and the need to find even greater efficiencies, the trade association that represents the backbone of medicines supply in the UK, the British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (BAPW), has taken the decision to re-launch as the Healthcare Distribution Association UK (HAD UK).


The Healthcare Distribution Association UK (HDA UK) was launched at a reception in Parliament on Wednesday 3rd February.


Full Coverage

DH consults on hub and spoke model for pharmacies

04 April 2016, Dispensing Doctor, Alisa Colquhoun


‘Spoke’ pharmacies using a dispensing hub will reduce pharmacist labour costs by a maximum of 10% – but it could take up to three years to achieve these savings, a Department of Health assessment has revealed.


In a look at the effect of rolling out hub and spoke dispensing to all pharmacies, the DH estimates that between 25% and 50% of independent and small multiple pharmacies will use the system to dispense around 45% of medicines.


Savings in technician labour costs of up to 25% are also said to be possible, but only if pharmacies use dispensing hubs for around 60% of total dispensing volume, and where more than one pharmacist is employed.


In a consultation running until May 17, respondents are asked to consider various assumptions on which the savings are based, including: that the median average salary of a pharmacist working in community pharmacy is £36,441 and for a pharmacy technician of £19,462; that 30% of dispensing activity is performed by independent pharmacies (with fewer than five pharmacies), 20% by small multiples (between five and 99 pharmacies), and 50% by large multiple pharmacies (100 or more pharmacies).


The proposed new regulations, the Human Medicines (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2016, will come into force on October 1. Other changes included in the legislative change are:


  • allow the price of medicines and a statement on how the costs of medicines are met to be published on dispensing labels
  • clarify the current dispensing label requirements for monitored dosage systems and medicines supplied under patient group directions
  • amend the pharmacists’ exemption in section 10 of the Medicines Act, regarding the preparation and assembly of medicines.


The DDA will be responding to the consultation

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 4 April 2016

From Factory to Pharmacy

As part of our mission to build awareness, understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of the healthcare distribution sector, we developed an infographic explaining the availability of medicines. It identifies the factors that can impact drug supply, as well as the measures that HDA members undertake day in, day out to help mitigate the risks of patients not receiving their medicines.

See the Infographic

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