The Dispensing Doctors’ Association (DDA) 2017 annual conference has once again proved the value of bringing hundreds of dispensing GPs together with their non-dispensing counterparts. In unprecedented numbers dispensing GPs from all over the country came together to discuss the challenges of the day at the DDA and the Best Practice conferences and exhibition, held at the NEC Birmingham on Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 October.
Now in its fourth year of partnership with the Best Practice event, the DDA 2017 annual conference took the theme: ‘Dispensing: the power behind rural general practice’.
On the first day of the DDA 2017 annual conference, delegates were able to hear a comprehensive range of presentations on the key issues of the day. They were also able to take advantage of unique access to the expertise of the DDA board, as well as the unprecedented free networking opportunities presented by this unique professional event for dispensing GPs.
Key opinion leaders in the world of dispensing practice, included Department of Health principal pharmacist Susan Grieve, who provided the conference with the Department of Health’s view of dispensing practice, as well as GPC policy lead for dispensing Dr David Bailey. In an earlier plea to newly-elected BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul, Dr Bailey has made clear that “it is essential that the reimbursement regulations for dispensing doctors are made fit for purpose once again”. “The current situation where some medicines can be dispensed at a loss cannot continue”, he said, adding: “We need to restore a level playing field for dispensing GPs and their patients.”
Later on during the same day of the conference, SecurMed UK head Jerome Bertin set out progress towards implementation of the FMD in the UK. The FMD is an anti-counterfeit measure, which as it stands currently, will have significant cost and workload implications for dispensaries, the DDA believes, as well as for non-dispensing practices who supply medicines via PA or in emergencies. For this reason the DDA has identified the FMD as a current challenge to dispensing practice. Within the past few months, the DDA has joined pharmacists in the fight to see more support for dispensers faced with managing the practical implications of the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD). This is due for implementation in the UK in around 18 months’ time.
DDA chairman Dr Richard West told the DDA annual conference: “Dispensing doctor practices have seen no evidence of any preparedness by the GP IT system suppliers, NHS Digital, or NHS England for the implementation of the FMD. There is no question that implementation will be workload intensive and require significant changes in working practices within dispensaries. Given the current financial constraints in general practice, there is no way that dispensing practices can afford the costs associated with either the workload, or the acquisition of compliant IT systems, for the FMD.”
Visit the conference page for more information on the speakers’ presentations, and their slides, as they become available.