General Pharmaceutical Council consults on registrants’ fees

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has announced today a formal three month consultation on registrants’ fees for 2012. This will affect registrants from the end of the year 2011.

The consultation will run from 17 February 2011 to 12 May 2011 and invites interested parties to feed back their opinions on the key areas of consultation:

A below inflation rise of 4 per cent for pharmacists and pharmacy premises with a recommended renewal fee of £272 for pharmacists and £226 for registered premises
A reduction in the annual renewal fee for pharmacy technicians so they would pay £120
The introduction of a credit card payment fee of 2% of the registrant’s fee – so that the additional processing charges which the GPhC incurs when taking credit card payments are passed on to those who pay in that way, rather than shouldered by all registrants.

In developing the consultation for the 2012 fees, the GPhC was conscious of the current economic climate that registrants and pharmacy owners are working in. However, it receives no public funds for its ongoing work, and its vital regulatory duties are funded by the registrants’ fees. The governing council is clear that the fees of registrants must reflect the cost of regulation, just as the council is clear in its commitment to driving efficiency improvements and cost savings in its operations.

GPhC chair Bob Nicholls said: “This consultation takes place at a time when pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy owners are confronting an exceptionally challenging economic and financial situation, affecting businesses, organisations, individuals and families. We are mindful of the responsibility, and the duty of accountability, which comes with the power to charge fees. Before we finally set the fees in June, we need help from those with information and views, to test our thinking and to make sure we understand the impact as well as the benefits of any particular fee levels.”

Duncan Rudkin, chief executive and registrar said “We have challenged ourselves to identify cost efficiencies to keep the cost of regulation in proportion. Given the operational challenges we are addressing, and the improvements to pharmacy regulation to which the council is committed, the proposal for a below-inflation rise in renewal fees for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians seems to strike the right balance. In the case of pharmacy technicians, getting the balance right points to a reduction in renewal fees. The council is hoping that all those with relevant information and views will share them with us through this consultation, so that the decisions which are made in the end on fee levels are the right ones.”

We are asking individuals or organisations to view the consultation herefeed back your comment to us.