HDA welcomes PSNC proposals for enhanced role for pharmacy.

HDA welcomes PSNC proposals for enhanced role for pharmacy.

The Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA UK) welcomes the recent PSNC publication of plans for community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond as a credible and thoughtful set of proposals that as an Association we would urge the Government to consider.

The HDA is particularly supportive of the suggestion for pharmacists to be responsible for emergency, out of hours, prescription provision, to eliminate the need for patients to go via a doctor for vital medicines. Our members provide emergency supplies of drugs to pharmacies across the four nations of the United Kingdom and would be well placed to support pharmacy in the delivery of such a service. It is clear that an important part of any reform of pharmacy must be enabling the sector help relieve pressures on GPs and A&E through taking an enhanced role within the NHS.

Another suggestion that the HDA agrees with the PSNC is the broadening of the pharmacy-led flu vaccination programme. Successful trials in areas such as London and Manchester have demonstrated that patients appreciate the flexibility and convenience of receiving their annual flu vaccination in pharmacy. HDA member wholesalers are crucial to such a scheme as they are able to deliver the vaccines to the pharmacy as and when they are required, through the twice daily deliveries offered by all our full members. This is a far more efficient model, as it avoids unnecessary storage and wastage of flu vaccines.

Finally, the HDA is in favour of the generic substitution service included in PSNC’s plan. The HDA’s predecessor the BAPW, supported the substitution of branded medicines for their generic equivalents during the last round of negotiations on the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme as it is a safe and efficient way for the NHS to save money on its medicines bill. As new innovations are introduced by pharmaceutical manufacturers it is increasingly important that the Government uses its scarce resources wisely, in order to deliver the best treatments for patients.

The HDA’s support for PSNC’s proposals is yet another example of the strength of the collaboration seen in the medicines supply chain, which sees the HDA working closely with partners at the regional, national and international level, across pharmacy, dispensing doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The PSNC’s counter proposal to the Government’s plans for community pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond is available here

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