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UPDATED: PSNC given go-ahead to appeal High Court cuts case

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) has been given permission to appeal the High Court decision on its case against the pharmacy funding cuts.

UPDATED 3.15pm: NPA also appealing decision

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has also lodged an appeal against the High Court decision, a leading lawyer has confirmed this afternoon.

Andrea James, partner at law firm Knights 1759, who represented the NPA during the case, said the association lodged its appeal on June 9, and "is further along in the appeal process than PSNC".


High Court judge Justice Collins dismissed both PSNC's and the NPA's cases against the funding cuts "with regret" last month.

However, Mr Justice Collins has granted PSNC permission to appeal the judgment, the negotiator announced this morning (June 23).

When handing down his judgment on May 18, Mr Justice Collins criticised the Department of Health consultation process, including its failure to disclose its use of a Companies House analysis that it said showed community pharmacies have an operating margin of “about” 15%.

Commenting on the appeal, Mr Collins said: "While naturally I am not persuaded that I failed in any of the respects alleged… I recognise the real effect of the cuts on pharmacies and the apparent reliance on the 15% [figure] and the non-disclosure."

PSNC chief executive Sue Sharpe said it would "ideally" not have to pursue the appeal, "but [we] will do what it feels is right to protect pharmacies and the patients they care for”.

The appeal is not likely to be heard for "several months", PSNC stressed.

Catch up on C+D's full coverage of the three-day High Court hearing, and the aftermath, here.

Do you think PSNC should appeal the High Court judgment?

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