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Plaid Cymru pushes for drug tariff reform ahead of July 4 general election

Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth has said that the party offers “a real alternative for Wales” as it promised drug tariff reforms.

Plaid Cymru has pledged to reform drug tariff legislation to combat the rising price of medication, in its manifesto published today (June 13).

The Welsh party said that it would launch a review into the medicines supply chain “to ensure that patients get the medication that they need, when they need it”.

Read more: UPDATED: Labour promises 'community pharmacist prescribing service'

The manifesto added that Plaid Cymru “supports our small community pharmacies” but raised concerns that the sector’s ability to offer “vital local services” is imperilled by “the price of medication” and supply pressures.

The party said that it would fight for “fair funding from Westminster” for the country, which it would use to end “Wales’s postcode lottery for treatment”.


Health workers for Wales


Among Plaid Cymru’s key promises was that it would secure more NHS workers, and it lambasted visa restrictions placed on healthcare workers as “counter-productive”.

“Staff should be provided with the most appropriate support to allow them to integrate into Welsh society,” the manifesto said.

It added that there would be more healthcare sector “degree apprenticeships” available if it were elected on July 4. 

Read more: Channel 4 health debate calls for pharmacists to ‘grill’ politicians

But not all additional healthcare workers would be equally welcome. While it said that it saw the “value of nursing and physician associates”, it said that “any new roles should be developed with full consultation with the relevant trade unions”.

And Plaid Cymru said that it planned to create a healthcare manager regulatory body to level the playing field with regulated clinicians and “improve patient safety and empower staff”.


Community care


At the launch of the manifesto, Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said that the party he leads is “a real alternative for Wales”. 

Plaid Cymru also said that it would prioritise “developing pilots and best practice” in healthcare.

It pointed to the Betsi Cadwaladr cardiology diagnostic vehicle as an example of the community-based diagnostics it wishes to expand upon, saying that this approach could see fewer hospital visits and more uptake “by placing it in the local community”.

Read more: C+D election tracker: Conservative collapse deepens in sector vote

The party's manifesto added that the NHS needs a “preventative public health strategy” that “rebalances resources to prevent people becoming ill”.

It promised a “review of the financing model for Wales” to combat health inequalities by establishing the country’s “determinants of healthcare”.

And high street pharmacies would benefit from Plaid Cymru’s pledge to “invest in local high streets” to keep open shops that are “under threat due to rising costs”.

It said that it would reform business rates to create “a system that better supports our small businesses”.




The Labour Party also revealed its manifesto today, which promised to grant "more pharmacists independent prescribing rights where clinically appropriate" to ease "pressure" on GP surgeries.

Yesterday, C+D revealed that health will be at the forefront of a Channel 4 election debate, to be held on June 24 ahead of the July 4 general election.

Read more: Green Party pledges to make PrEP available in pharmacies and online

A producer for the show said that they were seeking pharmacists to “respond to the proposals to expand the Pharmacy First scheme” and “share their experiences of working in healthcare [or] the NHS”.

Also yesterday, the Green Party released its manifesto in which it promised to push for “access to the HIV prevention pill online, in pharmacies and from GP services” to “end new cases” of the disease.

Read more: Pharmacy First spending set to rise to £250m by 2027 under Tory manifesto

On Tuesday, the Conservative Party revealed that it expects spending on the Pharmacy First service to increase by £250m by 2027 in its manifesto for the upcoming election.

And on Monday, the Liberal Democrat Party said that it would prioritise securing “a fairer and more sustainable long-term funding model for pharmacies” and “build on the Pharmacy First approach to give patients more accessible routine services”.

Read more: Lib Dems pledge 'fairer' funding and ‘more pharmacist prescribing rights’

Last week, the Labour Party announced its plan to “replace the business rates system with a new system that will level the playing field between the high street and online giants”. 

Vote in C+D's week four election sentiment tracker poll - launching via LinkedIn on Monday

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