Doctors welcome decision on medicines

Norfolk doctors are celebrating the government's decision to abandon plans which would have restricted the dispensing of medicines. The Pharmacy White Paper, which has been the subject of public consultation, proposed changes to the rules under which doctors can dispense medicines to their patients.

Norfolk doctors are celebrating the government's decision to abandon plans which would have restricted the dispensing of medicines.

The Pharmacy White Paper, which has been the subject of public consultation, proposed changes to the rules under which doctors can dispense medicines to their patients. One of the proposals was that doctors would be banned from dispensing if there was a nearby pharmacy, which would have closed dispensaries at many surgeries.

At the moment, doctors can dispense to patients living more than a mile away, and income from dispensaries is an important lifeline for many practices. Norfolk's Local Medical Committee and Local Pharm-acy Committee, representing GPs and pharmacists, were both opposed to changes to the current system.

At health question time in the House of Commons, health minister Phil Hope said an announcement on the wider issues in the white paper would be made in the new year. He added: “I am aware of the strength of responses we have received on the various options for amending the criteria for dispensing by doctors. We have taken account of the views of those attending the listening events, the meetings and so on.


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“Because of this I'm pleased to announce that there will be no change to the current arrangements for GPs dispensing medicines to their patients.”

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