PDA respond to GPhC’s consultation on the draft 2019 fees rules

The GPhC has been consulting from 1 November 2018 to 24 January 2019 on changing its fees for registered pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises.

Fri 15th February 2019 The PDA

The proposed fee increases for renewals and registration are as follows:

  • Pharmacists – from £250 to £257
  • Pharmacy technicians – from £118 to £121
  • Pharmacy premises – from £241 to £262

There are approximately 56,555 pharmacists and 24,551 pharmacy technicians on the register, alongside approximately 14,000 registered pharmacies. Based on those figures, that would mean an additional £763,538 revenue for the GPhC as a result of the fee increases.

The PDA disagrees with the increases. The main elements of our response are found in our recommendations:

  • Before increasing fees, the GPhC must explore other alternatives to reduce its costs, such as moving its headquarters out of Canary Wharf to a cheaper location. At the same time as reducing the GPhC’s outgoings, such a move could also make it less expensive for registrants to attend GPhC hearings in London, including the requirement to find overnight accommodation there.
  • The GPhC has a duty to ensure that its registration and renewal fees are sufficient, without being excessive, to allow it to adequately fulfil its role in protecting patients and the public. That includes markedly improving the regulation of pharmacy premises – creating parity in its approach to issuing sanctions to organisations and individuals. The GPhC must ensure that the fees it sets enable it to do that.
  • The GPhC must improve the governance over the remuneration of council members. This could include appointing an independent committee to review such remuneration (in April 2018, the GPhC increased the remuneration of council members, which was recommended by a committee comprised mainly of council members, including the chair of the council. The committee recommended an increase in the chair’s remuneration and the chair of that committee also received an increase, both in her role as that chair and as a council member).
  • The GPhC must demonstrate that it carefully controls the amount of money it spends on fitness to practise cases and litigation before it considers raising registration fees. GPhC registrants should not have to bear the cost of unnecessary litigation (an FOI request in 2017 revealed that the GPhC spent almost £200,000 on just three legal cases alone, which appear to have been avoidable).
  • The GPhC’s fee structure appears to support the continued targeting of individual registrants, rather than its dual role of the regulation of both individuals and premises. The GPhC must review its overall fee structure to ensure a proportionate focus on the regulation of premises/systems, and individuals (the GPhC has highlighted in its consultation document that 82.98% of its budget income comes from individual registrants, and only 16.06% comes from pharmacies).

Download the PDA’s consultation response here

thumbnail of GPhC Fees Rules 2018 FINAL 24-01-2019

Download the GPhC consultation document here

thumbnail of Gphc-consultation_on_draft_2019_fees_rules

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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