The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is consulting on proposals to increase registration fees for pharmacy premises from £262 to £365.
In this consultation, the GPhC is seeking views on whether the fees paid by pharmacy owners should cover the full costs of regulating pharmacy premises.
The GPhC has said that the consultation marks the first phase of a wider review of the GPhC’s longer-term fees strategy, which will also consider areas such as longer fixed-term fees and flexible fee options (for those on parental leave, for example).
GPhC Chief Executive Duncan Rudkin said:
“We recognise the financial pressures that pharmacy owners are under and any uplift in fees is only proposed when necessary.
“Since 2013, we have introduced significant changes in how we regulate and inspect pharmacies, improving the effectiveness of our regulatory approach and bringing benefits to patients, the public and pharmacies. We are proposing this change now because we need a robust and sustainable financial framework with fees that reflect the true cost of regulation.
“We welcome views on our proposals.”
A spokesperson from the National Pharmacy Association commented:
“GPhC is proposing to levy a big percentage increase at a time when community pharmacy finances are already under immense pressure. We cannot possibly support such a steep increase in fees for pharmacy regulation.
“GPhC says it needs to cover its costs, however pharmacy contractors are bound to ask if the regulator is working as hard as pharmacies themselves to deliver efficiencies. We will now take soundings from NPA members and give our formal, detailed response to GPhC in March.”
The consultation on fees for pharmacy premises is open from 7 January to 31 March 2020. The first phase of the consultation runs from 7 January to 31 March 2020. If adopted, the new arrangements would come into place from October.