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Welsh Government misses opportunity to introduce PNAs

The opportunity to introduce pharmaceutical needs assessments to control market entry and exit for pharmacies in Wales has been missed by the Welsh Government.

This is the view of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Welsh Pharmacy Board in its response to a consultation on the National Health Service (Pharmaceutical Services) (Wales) Regulations 2012.

The Government should put in place control of entry regulations that reflect existing and developing service provision under the community pharmacy contract, says the WPB. Regulations should also be flexible enough to ensure that they can take account of future service modernisation in Wales, it adds.

Expressing disappointment that the draft regulations appear to be a consolidation exercise which will support the status quo, the WPB says that the Welsh Government has not taken the opportunity to put in place legislative changes for a more helpful framework around control of entry. The WPB points out that the draft regulations have the potential to stifle innovation, limit influence on raising standards within existing pharmacies and do not produce a framework to support the development of patient-focused services.

An opportunity to be innovative

Review of these regulations should also be seen by the Government as an opportunity to be innovative while supporting its own priorities and policies, which include using the skills of pharmacists to deliver more services closer to patients’ homes and increase community-based services, adds the WPB. A robust system that allows for the Welsh Government commitment to people across Wales having access to the full range of NHS pharmaceutical services should be introduced, it believes.

The WPB also recommends that the definition of pharmaceutical services within the regulations should be clarified and the principle that pharmaceutical services are provided by pharmacists should be established.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11112623

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