News

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 8 June 2016

Government puts brakes on hub-and-spoke plans

7 June 2016, Chemist and Druggist, Annabelle Collins

 

Responding to a Parliamentary Question, Pharmacy Minister Alistair Burt announced that the Department of Health will delay its plans to allow independent pharmacists to legally operate automated dispensing hubs as a result of the consultation responses. Mr. Burt added that the proposals would be explored “in more details” with stakeholders.

 

Government postpones ‘hub and spoke’ plans

7 June 2016, PSNC

 

PSNC welcomed Alistair Burt’s statement that the Department of Health’s hub and spoke plans will be delayed. The Association further expressed its delight that the Government has acknowledged the issues and shortcomings of the proposals. PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe commented explaining that the effect of the proposed legislation had not been made clear to the public.

 

The story was also reported by P3 Pharmacy and the NPA.

Parliamentary Coverage

House of Commons Questions, Pharmacy, 7 June 2016

 

Question

Stephen Pound, MP (Ealing North): To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will re-open the consultation on pharmacy dispensing models and displaying prices on medicines that closed on 17 May 2016 in order to allow respondents to take into account revised information on the safety profile of hub and spoke dispensing models.

 

Answer: Department of Health

Alistair Burt, MP: The consultation on changes to medicines legislation including on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing did not rely on any specific safety profile of hub and spoke dispensing. Instead, the consultation document specifically asked consultees to provide evidence on the issue. Nevertheless, the responses to the consultation have raised issues around removing the bar on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing between retail pharmacies that are not part of the same business that the Department would like to explore in more detail with stakeholders’ representatives before progressing any legislation. It does not now envisage changes to the legislation on this issue commencing on 1 October 2016.

 

Full Coverage

Government postpones ‘hub and spoke’ plans

7 June 2016, PSNC

 

Today (7th June) the Government has announced that it will further engage with PSNC and other stakeholders before making changes to medicines legislation on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing.

 

Responding to a Parliamentary Question, minister Alistair Burt said the Department of Health would like to “explore in more detail with stakeholders’ representatives before progressing any legislation”. He said the Department did not now envisage changes to the legislation commencing on October 1st.

 

Mr Burt said the responses to the consultation had “raised issues” around removing the bar on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing between retail pharmacies that are not part of the same business.

PSNC responded forcibly to the consultation, pointing out the many fundamental flaws in the proposals and consultation process; crucially, that the narrative of the consultation did not match the proposals in the draft legislation. We are delighted that the Government has acknowledged some of the issues and hope that in these further discussions it will recognise all of the shortcomings in its proposals.

 

PSNC Chief Executive Sue Sharpe said:

 

“The proposals in the ‘hub and spoke’ consultation have been ill thought out and the effect of the proposed legislation has not been made clear to pharmacy or the public.

 

We have seen a similar approach throughout the wider proposals laid out in the Government’s 17th December letter on ‘Community Pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond’, but as yet there has been no indication from the Department of Health that it will be prepared to grapple with the real issues or acknowledge the failings of that wider consultation process.”

 

Government delays plans on hub and spoke

7 June 2016, P3 Pharmacy

 

Government proposals to change legislation on hub and spoke dispensing has been put on hold, allowing time for more discussion on the matter.

 

In answer to a written parliamentary question from Stephen Pound MP, the Pharmacy Minister, Alastair Burt, said that legislation on this issue will no longer commence on 1 October 2016. Instead, the Department of Health will enter into detailed talks with pharmacy representatives before progressing any legislation.

 

The National Pharmacy Association called the announcement “a victory for common sense” and said that “the news today shows the power of unity within the sector”.

 

The statement from Pharmacy Minister Alistair Burt said: “The consultation on changes to medicines legislation including on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing did not rely on any specific safety profile of hub and spoke dispensing. Instead, the consultation document specifically asked consultees to provide evidence on the issue. Nevertheless, the responses to the consultation have raised issues around removing the bar on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing between retail pharmacies that are not part of the same business that the Department would like to explore in more detail with stakeholders’ representatives before progressing any legislation. It does not now envisage changes to the legislation on this issue commencing on 1 October 2016.”

NPA Chairman Ian Strachan said that there was cause for celebration. “In no way is this the end of the matter. Nevertheless, I think we can allow ourselves to celebrate today.”

 

NPA welcomes Government re-think on hub and spoke

7 June 2016, NPA

 

The NPA has wholeheartedly welcomed the Government’s re-think on hub and spoke dispensing, which was announced in Parliament today (Tuesday 7 June).

 

In answer to a written parliamentary question from Stephen Pound MP, the Pharmacy Minister Alastair Burt stated that legislation on this issue will no longer commence on 1 October 2016.  Instead, the Department of Health will enter into detailed talks with pharmacy representatives before progressing any legislation.

 

Responding to the news, NPA Chairman Ian Strachan said today:

 

“The Department of Health has listened to the growing chorus of concern in and around the pharmacy sector on this issue.  The NPA has been at the forefront of the independent sector’s response and our detailed work on the issue has been key to achieving a unified position across the sector.

 

“So we are naturally delighted that the Department is going back to the drawing board, which has been our request from the outset.

 

“It’s to the credit of Ministers and officials that they have shifted the position in response to overwhelming evidence and reasoned arguments. We now hope that they will show the same degree of mature reflection in relation to other elements of their proposals.  The entire policy package foisted on the sector in December should now be sense checked in the light of this development.  At the very least, it surely calls into question the timing of the proposed funding cuts, which the DH has suggested could be absorbed because of the supposed cost savings from hub and spoke.

 

“Throughout, we have worked closely with our Pharmacy Voice and PSNC colleagues and pharmacy bodies elsewhere in the UK.  The news today shows the power of unity within the sector.

 

“We now look forward to being part of the detailed discussions, bringing the widespread and genuine concerns of the independent sector to the table.

 

“In no way is this the end of the matter.  Nevertheless, I think we can allow ourselves to celebrate today.  It is a vindication of our approach and a victory for common sense”.

 

The full statement from Alastair Burt reads:

 

“The consultation on changes to medicines legislation including on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing did not rely on any specific safety profile of hub and spoke dispensing. Instead, the consultation document specifically asked consultees to provide evidence on the issue. Nevertheless, the responses to the consultation have raised issues around removing the bar on ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing between retail pharmacies that are not part of the same business that the Department would like to explore in more detail with stakeholders’ representatives before progressing any legislation. It does not now envisage changes to the legislation on this issue commencing on 1 October 2016.”

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 8 June 2016

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