Exclusive Asda and a pharmacy company that specialises in GP pharmacies made almost a third of the applications for 100-hour pharmacies during the nine-month consultation before the exemption was scrapped.
Business The latest round of category M clawbacks could force pharmacies to close, with 100-hour pharmacies and independents being particularly vulnerable to the threat, industry experts have forecast.
Legal Law firm Charles Russell has said that deliberately ignoring 100-hour bids constituted a breach of the law, as businesses pursue substantial damages from PCTs that blocked applications until the cut-off date passed.
Exploiting legal loopholes to try and and provide a service that can't equate to the national contract is unacceptable, writes contractor Terry Maguire, no matter who is doing it
"The government has rightly brought to an end the haphazard opportunism that has so characterised market entry in recent times. It's true that this announcement is long overdue, but we must not lose sight of the fact that this is good news for patients, pharmacists, taxpayers and local communities across the country."
Kevin Barron, chair, All-Party Pharmacy Group
"The removal of the 100-hour control of entry exemption is great news for pharmacists and patients, but we hope that we don't see a surge in applications prior to the changes being implemented."
Shilpa Gohil, chair, English Pharmacy Board
"Sainsbury's fully supports the concept of 100-hour pharmacies and believes this decision will be to the detriment of patients and the profession alike. Since 2005, patients have been able to take advantage of greater access to pharmaceutical services at a time and location convenient to them, something that is also a benefit to the wider community."
"It cannot be a day too soon for independents. This will be a great relief to those pharmacists where their livelihood has been threatened by the prospect of this unfair competition, though clearly far too many 100-hour pharmacies already exist."
Independent Pharmacy Federation
"This is the right decision for the future of community pharmacy and will ultimately benefit patients, offering diversity and choice. But I am disappointed that it has taken more than six months to resolve this issue following the close of the consultation."
John Nuttall, managing director, The Co-operative Pharmacy
Reaction on Twitter
@PharmacyLawyers Has Earl Howe clarified what transitional arrangements will apply to existing 100-hour applications?
@shaheedfazal We are going to see an avalanche of applications now. It would have been far better to scrap from tomorrow
@foster2406 100 hour contracts are almost impossible to make a profit from unless you're in a Health Centre. And I should know because I opened one! Five years and three owners later and we're breaking even