Camden News
Publications by New Journal Enterprises
  Home Archive Competition Jobs Tickets Accommodation Dating Contact us
Camden New Journal - By PAUL KIELTHY
Published: 3 January 2008
‘Deal will force small chemists to close down’

Impact of prescription targets feared

SMALL chemists could be forced to shut when the terms of a prescriptions deal favouring big business begins to bite later this year, campaigning pharmacists warned this week.
Targets set during negotiations between chemists and the government are too high for small pharmacists, according to David Kent, secretary of the Camden and Islington Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
He has warned that closures from April onwards will affect the most vulnerable in society.
Under a contract with the department of health, pharmacies will continue to receive their vital establishment fee of at least £18,000 a year only if they handle more than 2,120 prescriptions a month.
Camden and Islington have the highest number of pharmacies threatened with the loss of the fee in the country, Mr Kent claimed.
He said: “Historically we have a larger number of small pharmacies than anywhere else. They are in the community, close to the people who use them – the vulnerable, the elderly, the socially deprived.
“Is it right that a deal negotiated by the big guys should hit the small guys? In order to meet the target of 2,000 prescriptions, a pharmacist has to see twice as many people as a GP every day. That is fine for Boots or Lloyds, but Mr Smith, Mr Jones or Mr Patel doesn’t have that option.”
The deal over targets was struck between the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and government in 2004 but the blow was softened by a payment protection agreement which kept small chemists going. That protection ends in April.
At least 40 of Camden’s and Islington’s 108 chemists will be affected, Mr Kent said.
Pharmacist Harry Gitter, owner of Macey Chemists in Lismore Circus, Gospel Oak, said: “Possibly within six months of April I could be insolvent. Post-April, if I do 2,119 prescriptions as opposed to 2,120 I stand to lose £23,000, regardless of how worthy a service I provide to the community.”
Mr Gitter said he was taking legal advice over the negotiations, which he claims were dominated by representatives from national chemists at the expense of small businesses.

Comment on this article.
(You must supply your full name and email address for your comment to be published)







Theatre Music
Arts & Events Attractions