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Many of our members are dispensing practices - where they supply the prescribed medicines to patients, rather than the patients taking them to pharmacists. The profits from dispensing are then retained within the NHS and used to support local medical services.
Unfortunately, recently there has been a trend for pharmacies to open up branches close to dispensing practices, which has the effect of automatically removing the right of the practice to dispense to their patients, resulting in reduced practice income and destabilising the practices.
Under current legislation, the local community and GP practice have no say in whether such predatory pharmacy applications are permitted to proceed. We are actively campaigning for a change in the law, requiring healthboards to consult with local people before allowing this to happen. The BMA has prepared a "media toolkit" to help people in lobbying their local MSP:
Here's a copy of our response submitted to the Scottish Parliament's Petition committee on this subject: