The need for a “reality check” on the way fees for pharmacists, technicians and pharmacy premises are decided has led to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) appointing an independent economist to review the principles behind them.
Duncan Rudkin, GPhC chief executive and registrar, said the time was right for a “reality check” on the way fees are decided, adding that the review could lead to the rebalancing of the cost burden of regulation between the three groups.
The results of the review will inform the next fee strategy meeting in February 2015.
The review lead by Barry McCormick from Economic Analysis Associates will consider the direct costs of registration on each of the three groups and the implications this has on setting the fees.
Rudkin said what it hoped to achieve was “the best possible underpinning of logic” to help it decide future fees but he would not say whether the outcome of the review would lead to a rise in premises fees.
The review follows the introduction of the regulator’s new pharmacy premises inspection regime and comes in the wake of repeated criticisms from some pharmacists that the current fee system is unfair.
Pharmacists have complained that their professional fees subsidise the true costs of pharmacy premises regulation which they argue should be met by pharmacy business owners and not individual pharmacists.