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DDA urges Welsh members to challenge Senedd over extended prescribing intervals

Template Assembly member letter sets out the impact on dispensing practice

June 28th 2022

Tagged: DM Zone news DDA news Wales

By DDA Welsh members Drs Fiona Porter/Neil Windsor-Jones

The DDA is urging Welsh members to write to their Senedd member over the effect on dispensing fees of changes to prescribing intervals.

The review of dispensing volumes has resulted in the introduction of 56-day prescribing intervals from April 2022, reducing dispensing fee income in Wales by half.

Template letters available for dispensing GPs to send to their Senedd member highlight the following concerns:

  1. There is no impact assessment of the initiative for dispensing surgeries. Unlike many pharmacies, dispensing surgeries are mainly located in rural locations, where a community pharmacy is not economically viable. They typically cover an older patient population with more complex health needs and located in a sparser geographic area than the average urban pharmacy.
  2. Funding for rural medical services is subsidised by dispensing income. This is an accepted financial arrangement, which benefits the Welsh Treasury. Although 56-day prescribing offers patient convenience, the initiative reduces the dispensing fee income received by the practice by half as practices will receive one rather than two fees per 56 days.
  3. The new dispensing fee payment arrangements are not ‘Wales-proofed’. The current formula for calculating the dispensing fee in Wales is devised in England, without reference to the needs of the Welsh NHS and its population. Currently, this formula offers no compensation to Welsh dispensing practices for the Welsh initiative that reduces dispensing fee income.

The DDA believes that the current proposal is the largest threat to the Welsh dispensing service for many years.

Access the template letters

English version

Welsh version

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