The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has previously “covered some of the costs of the registration fees” for pharmacy premises owners out of its financial “reserves”.
However, the regulator is no longer able to do so, despite cost-saving measures and and an “ongoing efficiency plan”, Ms Bryce-Smith said in a video addressing the annual Sigma conference in Cebu, the Philippines last week (February 18).
The regulator, which is currently consulting on proposals to increase pharmacy premises fees by £103, from £262 to £365, needs to “ensure that those costs are covered fully”, she added.
When the consultation was announced in January, the GPhC said it was “proposing this increase now because we need a robust and sustainable financial framework with fees that reflect the true cost of regulation”.
There will be no fee increases for pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, only for contractors, Ms Bryce-Smith reiterated.
“The consultation is asking whether you think the fees for pharmacy premises should be covered by those we're actually regulating,” she said.
The GPhC is also looking into a “future fees strategy” that may involve “more differentiated fees”. This could include taking into account the “scale of the operation and the services which are actually being provided,” Ms Bryce-Smith added.