Pharmacists have just two weeks left to share their views with the government on hub and spoke dispensing before the consultation closes.
The Amendments to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 consultation covers the proposed change in law to allow for wider use of the centralised dispensing method to “create a level playing field”.
The law currently only allows pharmacies in the same retail business to use the dispensing model, with policy makers suggesting the right should also be extended to independent pharmacies.
“This will make it possible for independent ‘spoke’ pharmacies to make use of the services of ‘hub’ pharmacies that are part of a separate business or to work together and invest in automation in one ‘hub’ location,” the document says.
The move has the potential to lower operating costs and free up pharmacist time to spend with patients, the Department of Health claims.
Respondents are invited to say whether or not they agree that the “impediment in medicines legislation” that prevents independent pharmacies using the hub and spoke model should be removed.
They are further asked to comment on whether any restrictions should be made in terms of if the model would allow for direct delivery to patients, effectively bypassing the pharmacist’s door.
Also under consideration is if the price and funding for drugs over £20 should be included on the box labels, other label requirements and pharmacists’ exemption.
The consultation closes on 17 May 2016 at 11:45pm.