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GPhC plans first fee rise in three years

Duncan Rudkin: The GPhC is conscious the hike will "disproportionately" affect technicians

Fees are set to rise by £10 for registrants and £20 for premises, GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin has announced

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) plans to raise registration fees for the first time in three years, it has announced.

Fees for pharmacists and technicians could both increase by £10 this year, to £250 and £118 respectively, the GPhC revealed at its council meeting yesterday (February 5).

The regulator also plans to raise its premises fees by £20 to £241. The changes are due to come into effect in October, subject to a consultation seeking views from the profession that will launch next week.


The increase in fees would raise approximately £1 million for the GPhC by 2016-17, as the majority of pharmacists and technicians are set to renew their registration in January. The regulator faced a predicted deficit of £1.7m for this financial year, and these extra funds would contribute towards its objective of breaking even by 2017-18, it stressed.

The council faced a “dilemma” of trying to anticipate its expenditure for up to three years in advance, and considered that the fee changes were “prudent” to ensure it “continued to protect patients and deliver on its strategic plan”.

Having frozen fees for three years, the GPhC said a rise was "inevitable", given that complaints about pharmacy professionals had "greatly increased" and the number of registrants was "continually expanding". It pointed out that, even with the increase, fees for pharmacists and technicians would still be below 2011 levels. 

Fees for the pre-registration year and exam would remain frozen “for the foreseeable future” and it would consider reducing these fees in February 2016, the GPhC said.

Fee rises were not the only way the regulator would try to reduce its deficit, and it also planned to undertake a “comprehensive efficiency and effectiveness review” later in the year. It predicted that it would reduce its deficit to £0.4m by 2016-17 and produce a “small surplus” of £0.8m by the following year.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said he was aware that the “relatively small” fee increases would “disproportionally” affect technicians, who face an increase of 9 per cent compared to the 4 per cent experienced by pharmacists. “However, our fees need to reflect the underlying cost of regulating each registrant group and we need to avoid, where possible, any significant future fluctuations,” he said.
 

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11 Comments

Disillusioned Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

"the number of registrants was "continually expanding". " That is not a reason to put the fee's up because each registrant pays a fee so it doesn't matter how much the registrant numbers increase-to the GPhc anyway! Why are they eventually going to decrease the pre-reg fee and exam fee? We are flooded with Pharmacists, they should be putting the fee's up for pre-reg's to try and decrease the number on the registser but obviously that is not what the shoe company want, the more pharmacists there are the lower the wages they have to pay and the more they can treat them like rubbish.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

The 'shoe' company? I think you mean Boots.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Why the rise? Boots don't need the money do they ? They don't even pay tax. Oh hang on I'm getting mixed up GPhC / Boots. It does get confusing sometimes.

Another rise and for what?? So the council can break even... I just wonder what we all get for these registration fees. I understand the initial cost of registering a person but after that why so much??

Mike Jarrett, Community pharmacist

Wage rates down , fees up , business expenses up ! GPhC executives Salaries up ??

John Randell, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

exactly how does the gphc regulate.......dont see it on a day to day....i guese you could say the inspection visits but...the problem wiht that is by the time they find out something is wrong its too late.

Daniel Fox, Community pharmacist

"It pointed out that, even with the increase, fees for pharmacists and technicians would still be below 2011 levels." Well, the average earning of pharmacists is as well below the 2011 levels :)

Clive Hodgson, Community pharmacist

Good point. How about linking the GPhC fee to average Pharmacist salaries? We could see quite a reduction in those fees over the next few years.

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

How about linking the fee to how well the GPhC looks after its members? I think the expression is value for money. Thank God only a few more years of this nonsense.

duncan fletcher, Locum pharmacist

Could Mr Rudkin quantify how much it costs to regulate each group which required to be regulated, pharmacists, technicians and premises, and how this relate to the fees charged.

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

Canary wharf rent is more expensive then they thought!!! i wonder

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