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Government to make medicines dispensing more efficient

The changes will allow pharmacists to spend more time with patients, levelling the playing field between smaller pharmacies and larger chains.

The government has confirmed plans to make ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing models available to all local pharmacies. The change aims to make local pharmacies more efficient and free up time for more complex elements of dispensing and clinical care. The move is part of government’s drive to make patient access to medicines and treatment more efficient across the NHS. Patients stand to benefit thanks to an efficiency drive that will allow all local pharmacies to dispense medicines more efficiently.

Currently, larger pharmacy chains can take advantage of the efficiencies and cost-savings that come with centralising the dispensing of medicines at a larger ‘hub’. But smaller independent pharmacies are unable to operate the same model due to legal restrictions on dispensing for pharmacies under different ownership, meaning they can face additional costs and workload. 

Under the changes announced today, the government will progress in making the ‘hub and spoke’ model universally available, allowing pharmacies belonging to different legal entities to use hubs belonging to other companies. This will level the playing field between smaller pharmacies and larger chains.  The changes will enable pharmacists to dispense medicines more efficiently and spend more time dealing face to face with patients.

Primary Care Minister, Andrea Leadsom said, “We’re continuing our drive to make access to medicines and care faster, simpler and fairer for all patients, including at local pharmacies. These proposals will level the playing field and enable our hard-working community pharmacies to benefit from centralised dispensing. It will also free up highly skilled pharmacists from back-office duties to deliver patient-facing services, including Pharmacy First and contraception consultations, supply medicines and provide advice.”

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Source: WiredGov, 13 May 2024


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