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Independents could operate dispensing hubs next year

The Department of Health aims to change the law to allow independents to operate hub-and-spoke dispensing models by October 2016

EXCLUSIVE

The government plans to allow independents to legally operate a hub and spoke dispensing model by next October, C+D has learned.

Subject to the outcome of a consultation in “early 2016”, the Department of Health (DH) plans to change the law prohibiting companies from operating the model unless they own both the dispensing hub and the pharmacy, it told C+D on Tuesday (November 10).

“The government plans to... enable all community pharmacies – not just multiples – to benefit from hub-and-spoke dispensing,” it said.

The DH first told C+D it was “looking into” changing the law last month, prompting a backlash from independents, who warned that hub-and-spoke dispensing would “change pharmacy beyond all recognition”.

Last week, Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive Sue Sharpe said increasing the use of dispensing hubs would be “madness”. England chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge's suggestion in September that central dispensing hubs could deal with two thirds of the country’s prescriptions was a “totally unevidenced assertion”, she said.

 

Will independents benefit from using a hub-and-spoke dispensing model?

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