Multiples back concerns over 100-hour applications

Business Multiples have added their voice to concerns over 100-hour applications, after experiencing pressure on their pharmacies caused by rivals taking advantage of the exemption, including GP surgeries.

Multiples have added their voice to concerns over 100-hour applications, after experiencing pressure on their pharmacies caused by rivals taking advantage of the exemption, including GP surgeries.

GPs are forcing pharmacy contractors into a corner by making them choose between relocating to their surgery or facing stiff competition from a new 100-hour pharmacy, industry experts have warned, with the Co-operative Pharmacy criticising the contracts for "distorting the market".

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Co-operative Pharmacy managing director John Nuttall said that, because the company had prime locations throughout the UK, "about half of our estate has seen nearby applications for new 100-hour pharmacies by competitors".

Lloydspharmacy also voiced concern, saying that every GP location of a certain size is now seen as an opportunity by pharmacy, GPs and their agents.

"Unfortunately the opening of the market has increased the perceived value of these locations to an unrealistic level. This coupled with the fact that lenders still view healthcare as one of the safer investments at present, has helped to drive those expectations," said a Lloydspharmacy spokesperson.

"Some agents help to fuel GPs' expectations of the value of their sites and this has led to quite a number of cases of GPs opening up the tendering process to 100 hour operators to achieve the highest value, or proposing to open their own pharmacy," they explained.

 "In the majority of cases we manage these dynamics equitably but it can lead to situations where the alternatives are made quite clear. In our view the quicker this facility is removed and stability returned, the better," they added.   

Other experts said they had seen "a number of cases" of GPs approaching local pharmacies and giving them an ultimatum, saying they must move to their premises or face competition from a 100-hour pharmacy at the surgery. 

Should pharmacists decide to relocate to the surgery, Tim Jenkins, partner at pharmacy law specialists Charles Russell LLP, said he knew of cases where the GP "asks for a hefty rent or says, ‘you had better give me a slice of your pharmacy',".

The concerns follow the Independent Pharmacy Federation's warning about GPs threatening to exploit the 100-hour exemption rule, to the detriment of nearby pharmacies.

Would you like to see the 100-hour rule scrapped?

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SHABBIR.J ABDULHUSSEIN., Community pharmacist

Whether the 100-hour rule stays or get scrapped in the near future one thing is for sure,there are no WINNERS,in this game,so come you Multiples,GPS,and Independent Pharmacists,keep on struggling .....We all have to survive and make our business viable.

YEE CHU, Superintendent

hisorically, when this clause came in, most multiples were keen and wnt on to either increase their floor space or renovate to have a pharmacy but now they say another.

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

dont complain about locum rates, preesures from multiples, start look around for you own business especially near where your living dear pharmacists there must be a multiple doing 7000+ items per month, what stopping you setting up 100Hrs with 2 of your locum mates and flatten them old dinasaurs, go for it what you got to loose, remember Del Boy, "those who dare, WIN!!"

Al C, Community pharmacist

how sad, the multiples get a taste of their own medicine. I have never worked for a GP but I dont think it could be any worse than the horror stories you here from pharmacists working for the multiple.

Muhammad Rafiq, Superintendent Pharmacist

It's strange that co-operative are criticising 100 hour pharmacies. They have opened few recently in north. The latest I know was opened last week in December 2011.

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