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PJ Online | News: Scottish control of entry rules may differ after OFT

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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 269 No 7226 p769
30 November 2002

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Scottish Pharmaceutical General Council (

Scottish control of entry rules may differ after OFT

Rules governing the control of entry to pharmaceutical contracts in Scotland may differ from those in England and Wales after the Office of Fair Trading makes its report, bodies representing pharmacy contractors in Scotland believe.

Bob Cuddihy, Scottish public affairs executive for the Scottish Pharmaceutical Federation, told The Journal that the OFT report will be studied by Scottish Health Ministers after its publication. They will then decided whether to amend the NHS (Pharmaceutical Services) (Scotland) Regulations 1995. Mr Cuddihy commented: ?I would be surprised if the OFT's proposals are implemented in Scotland if they do not fit in with the Scottish health plan." The SPF and the Scottish Pharmaceutical General Council recently sent a joint briefing to Members of the Scottish Parliament on the background to the OFT inquiry and its possible effects.

The two bodies say that the current regulations should be retained in order to maintain the National Health Service's community pharmacy network. They says that removing control of entry could mean that health boards are no longer able to plan and manage the number of dispensing pharmacies in their areas. They add: "The 'patient interest' is different to the 'consumer interest' or the 'public interest' because patients are often less mobile and value local, convenient services."

A spokeswoman for the OFT said that the pharmacy report is still expected to be published before the end of the year.

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