GPhC should explain rise in premises fees, says PDA
The Pharmacistsâ€™ Defence Association (PDA) has urged the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to explain the rationale behind its proposed increased registration fee of Â£365 for pharmacy premises.
The regulator's official consultation on the premises fee hike closed at the end of March, during a time when many contractors have faced financial difficulties relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The fee for renewal and registration is set to go from Â£262 to Â£365, an increase the PDA said would give the GPhC Â£1.5 million in extra income.
The PDA said it supported â€œthe principle of a fee increaseâ€ but insisted the regulator act â€œin line with the Nolan Principle of Opennessâ€ and present â€œa full and comprehensive set of financial workings on how it has arrived at the figure of Â£365.â€
â€œThe GPhC should not raise fees until it can detail and demonstrate independently verifiable efficiency gains on an annual basis before coming back to registrants for any increase in fees,â€ the PDA said.
It also said the GPhC should not expect â€œyear on year increases in its income as a matter of rightâ€ and community pharmacy cannot support the â€œguarantee of a three-year fixed increase in fee income for the GPhC.â€
The PDA added: â€œThe GPhC must provide full working models on fees showing cost allocations according to registrant type.
â€œ(It) must provide data if it is to introduce variable fees to show how the variances would impact different groups of registrants (pharmacists/technicians/premises).â€
On accreditation MPharm courses, the PDA said fees must â€œproperly be charged to institutions and not allocated as a cost when determining pharmacist registration fees.â€
It also urged the GPhC to publish the equality impact analysis from the fees increase last year and in previous years.
When contacted by Independent Community Pharmacist, a GPhCÂ spokesperson said:Â â€œWe recognise that, at the current time, the first priority of pharmacy professionals and organisations is to focus on patient safety and dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.Â
â€œWe are carefully considering all responses to the consultation and will publish a summary of the responses, along with an explanation of the decision we have taken, in due course.â€