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NPA lawyer: ‘Serious flaws’ justify legal challenge to cuts

“Very serious flaws” in the government's justification for the pharmacy cuts is cause for court action, a lawyer acting on behalf of the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has said.

Andrea James, a partner at LHS Solicitors, which is acting on behalf of the NPA, is confident that the shortcomings in the Department of Health’s (DH) approach to the proposed £113 million cut to funding in England justifies mounting a legal challenge.

She pointed out that this year the pharmacy organisation has already successfully challenged the government’s claim that expanding hub-and-spoke dispensing will improve patient safety, and help push the intended implementation date of the cuts back from October to December.

The NPA has “explored every possible avenue to help its members”, including negotiations with the government, Ms James told C+D last week (November 4) .

“The NPA has sought, at all times, to behave reasonably and negotiate sensibly with the DH, so legal action was never considered inevitable right up to the publication of the final [funding] package,” she added.

The NPA said last week that it had “no option” but to take its fight against the cuts to court.

The DH has been asked to respond to the legal challenge by 4pm today (November 9). The NPA had not received a response at the time of going to press.

Are you confident a legal challenge will secure concessions for the sector?

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