UK: Pharmacy Brief - June 2012

Last Updated: 12 June 2012
Article by David Reissner

Manchester Event

The CR Pharmacy Team will be taking to the stage again on 5 July 2012 at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. We will cover topics based on feedback from those of you who attended last year's conference:

  • Recent regulatory issues including exports and specials
  • Arrangements with GPs
  • Trends in pharmacy transactions
  • Market entry and market exit from 2012

The conference is free, subject to availability. To reserve a place, contact

Into the FoIA

We have seen an increase in the use of requests under the Freedom of Information Act to secure a commercial advantage. In appropriate cases, we have used them ourselves on behalf of clients. One PCT recently received a request for details of the number of prescription items dispensed by each pharmacy in its area for the last 24 months. We made detailed representations on behalf of a client as to why the information should not be supplied. The PCT declined to give the information.

PCT Demands that Pharmacy Stops Providing Services

Our client successfully applied for a NHS contract in his own name. Before opening, he formed a company which he registered with the GPhC as the owner of the pharmacy. When the PCT found out, it said that because the pharmacy was being operated by a company which was not on its pharmaceutical list, it was not entitled to provide, or be paid for, NHS pharmaceutical services. The PCT also referred the pharmacist to its performance panel, and said it was considering reporting the pharmacist to the GPhC. We managed to resolve these issues for the pharmacist; the pharmacy continues to trade, and the PCT has confirmed it will not take any further action. However, this pharmacist's experience reinforces the importance of getting specialist legal advice from the outset; because, if you get it wrong, you could lose your business.

Wales - Control of Entry

Wales did not follow suit when England made control of entry changes in 2005, so avoided the 100- hour debacle. The Welsh Assembly Government is now consulting on changes to its current regime, because it considers most applications are a waste of time and money.

The Assembly is now considering these proposals:

  • Future applications will depend on local PNAs
  • Repeat applications will be not be considered after a refusal
  • Fees will be introduced to discourage speculative applications
  • After preliminary consent has been granted, full applications will have to be submitted within a shorter time than at present
  • After a full application is granted, services must be provided within a shorter period
  • Minor relocations will be simplified but possibly with safeguards to prevent leapfrogging

Modernising Pharmacy Regulation

The GPhC's consultation on modernising pharmacy regulation ended on 7 May 2012. Here are some highlights:

  • Unlike its predecessor, the GPhC does not propose to lay down detailed standards.
  • The GPhC will no longer register premises that do not supply POMs or sell P medicines. This will have implications for some businesses operating a hub and spoke model
  • When pharmacies apply for registration, the GPhC may impose conditions, including a date by which the provision of services must commence
  • Where distance selling pharmacies are operated, a condition may be imposed that patients and the public are not permitted to visit
  • The GPhC expects registrants "to be familiar with all associated guidance", including its own.
  • On the upside, the GPhC will not regard legal enforcement as its first option to secure compliance. The downside is that compliance decisions will be made public
  • Separate guidance may be issued for internet pharmacies and for pharmacies relying on exemptions from the need for MHRA licences
  • As we announced in a previous issue of the Pharmacy Brief pharmacies will no longer be subject to a 3-year cycle of inspections

Out of Touch?

A GPhC Fitness to Practise Committee ruled that "a pharmacist is not competent to undertake a physical examination which includes the touching of a patient's body as part of a diagnostic procedure". Is that correct?

The answer is that it depends. For example, if a patient asks for advice about an itching eye, the pharmacist may need to touch the patient's face in the course of taking a closer look. For further details, ask us for a copy of David Reissner's Chemist & Druggist article on touching patients.

Want to Stay?

We were recently approached by the owner of a pharmacy in a health centre who wanted advice on the renewal of his expiring lease. The GPs are the landlords, and they said they would not grant a new lease to him. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 allows landlords to refuse to grant a new tenancy if landlords want to redevelop or to use the premises for their own business. When advising pharmacists who take a lease within health centres we recommend insisting on a right to renew the lease.

Need to Get Out?

A pharmacist's decision to move or practise from a health centre is often based on the number of prescriptions the GPs are likely to generate. If the GPs are no longer at the health centre, or the number of GPs falls, this could have a significant impact on the amount of business done by the pharmacy. When negotiating a new lease of a pharmacy in a health centre, pharmacists should think about including a break right in the lease, allowing them to terminate if circumstances at the health centre change.

It's a Deal

We are seeing more pharmacies coming onto the market than in 2011. This bears out feedback from delegates at our London Pharmacy Conferences in March this year. Recently completed transactions handled by Tim Jenkins and the Pharmacy Transactions Team include:-

  • Acting for Kevin Knightly and Cyril Howells on the sale of a Suffolk based pharmacy to Donald G Hayden (Chemists) Limited and associated property arrangements
  • Acting for Wricklemarsh Limited on its purchase of London based Jennings Chemist from Jennings (Chemist) Limited and associated property arrangements (sale brokered by Goldin Medical)
  • Acting for WM Brown (Kingshurst) Limited and Springpharm Limited in connection with their purchase from Boots UK Limited of shares in HHCC Limited (operator of a consortium pharmacy in Hinckley Health Centre - Leicestershire)
  • Acting for Deen & Co Limited on its purchase of Manchester based pharmacy operator D Machell (Wholesale) Limited
  • Acting for Julian and Jane Langer on the sale of London based pharmacy operator L & M Langer Limited to Meraj Limited and associated property arrangements (sale brokered by Hutchings Consultants)

Our understanding of pharmacy businesses enables us to offer a competitively priced, added value, full service for clients both large and small and whether buying or selling.

We can also offer a one-stop service by bringing in valuation and other expertise – for further details click here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

David Reissner
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.