The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has agreed to increase fees by 7.5% from April 2024.
The GPhC Council has taken the difficult decision to increase fees after careful consideration at its meeting on 9 November 2023. Fees for individual registrants have been frozen since 2019 and the current fees remain lower than they were in 2011. Fees for premises have not increased since 2021.
This means that from April 2024:
- the pharmacy technician renewal fee will increase by £9 from £121 to £130
- the pharmacist renewal fee will increase by £19 from £257 to £276
- the pharmacy premises renewal fee will increase by £27 from £365 to £392
Fees were previously frozen through cost savings measures including being more efficient, using financial reserves when necessary, and moving to a smaller office which continues to benefit from the VAT exemption offered in Canary Wharf.
But like many organisations, the GPhC has seen operational costs go up because of higher rates of inflation, increasing utility bills and supplier costs. The Council therefore concluded it had to raise the fees in order to be in a position to continue to carry out regulatory work.
There were 7129 responses to the consultation on fees, which closed on 8 August 2023. Understandably, many disagreed with the proposed increases. In response to feedback on paying fees differently the GPhC will be looking into the feasibility of offering a monthly direct debit option, in addition to the current option to pay by quarterly direct debit.
The GPhC are seeking in the near future to move towards a more regular and incremental approach to fees setting, which will provide more certainly about future fees and enable any fee changes to be introduced more gradually in the future.
Chief Executive, Duncan Rudkin, said
We know that these are challenging times and that this increase will come as unwelcome news to those we regulate. But to be effective in our role of protecting the public we need to make sure the fees we charge cover the cost of regulation going forward.
We are subject to the same inflationary pressures and financial challenges as those we regulate. We were able to freeze our fees in previous years through cost-saving measures and are delaying an increase until April 2024.
We are working in a changing environment and have to adapt accordingly and regulate in a world where pharmacy is evolving at pace. This will continue to lead to significant changes in the scope and complexity of our work, on top of the major projects we are already undertaking such as reforms to initial education and training; post-registration assurance of practice, and the development of new standards following legislative change.
In taking this difficult decision, we are ensuring we can carry out our statutory duties and continue to ensure patients and the public receive safe and effective pharmacy care and have trust in pharmacy, now and in the future.
Find out more in our frequently asked questions.