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Are GPhC fees too costly?

Following the rise in regulatory fees, C+D analyses whether pharmacists are paying above the odds

A fee rise from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) was never going to be a popular move. Last week, the regulator announced it would proceed with its £10 increase in annual fees, despite resistance from registrants.

The news prompted an inevitable backlash. Pharmacists questioned whether they were paying too much compared with other healthcare professionals and directed particular criticism at the cost of the GPhC’s new Canary Wharf headquarters. In response, the GPhC said the fees reflected the rise in the costs of regulation – particularly the increase in fitness-to-practise cases over the past few years.

So are the fees proportionate or out of proportion? C+D analysed the data to answer the key questions on regulatory costs.

How do GPhC fees compare to those of other healthcare regulators?

How much do pharmacists pay for their fees as a proportion of their salary compared to other healthcare professionals?

Sources: All average salaries are taken from 

How have fees changed in proportion to the GPhC's workload?


How much does the GPhC pay for its accommodation compared to other regulators?

Annual rental costs



We need to know how many of these "fitness to practice" complaints are actually those and not moans and groans about not being able to get medicines, paying prescription charges etc etc. does the GPhC issue figures on how many are bona fide FtP matters that require investigation?

Emma Weinbren, Marketing

Thanks for your question Duncan - we got figures from the GPhC that showed 18% of all complaints it received last year were outside its remit so these could account for issues such as stock shortages, prescription charges etc. but could also be more serious such as criminal complaints, which should go to the police first. We will have a more in-depth feature on this coming out soon!

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Don't mind the fee in comparison to other profession...but the amount we paying in rent is questionable...

Dave Downham, Manager

Lies, damn lies and graphs.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I agree with Yang, paying a registration fee is fine. It's the organisation that is paid squanders the funds in meaningless ways and manages to destroy the profession's confidence in itself at every turn.

M Yang, Community pharmacist

It's not how much we're paying that's really the issue, but whether the money that we pay to the GPhC each year is being used in a meaningful manner. I never begrudge paying my yearly fee to the PDA, but I can't say the same for my regulatory fee. I lack confidence in the GPhC's ability to attend to FtP cases in a fair or humane manner for its members. So many of these cases involve employees of multiples and the outcome is usually the pharmacist being disproportionately punished while the management in the company gets away. To this I add the recent ill thought out proposals being pushed forward by the regulator and their silence on matters that can affect the future of the profession e.g. remote supervision, P med self selection, allowing technicians to make final checks. It isn't the concept of paying a modest fee that upsets pharmacists, it's where that money is going that upsets us.

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