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DHSC ‘parks’ decision on hub and spoke dispensing

No decision reached, five years after original consultation

November 12th 2021

Tagged: political news England

By Ailsa Colquhoun

After more than five years, DHSC has ‘parked’ the issue of hub and spoke dispensing.

In a consultation response published yesterday- five years after the initial consultation – DHSC says that further consultation on hub and spoke dispensing is necessary to define the responsibility between the hub and the spoke and mitigate for errors with increased steps, and for duplication or costs.

The response also commits the DHSC to further consultation on labelling of medicines supplied under PGDs and MDS. However, it has decided against publishing medicines prices on labels.

No timetable has been set for the new consultations.

The original consultation in 2016 set out the following proposals:

  • allow independent pharmacists to make use of ‘hub and spoke’ dispensing models – a ‘hub’ pharmacy dispenses medicines on a large scale, often by making use of automation, preparing and assembling the medicines for regular ‘spoke’ pharmacies that supply the medicines to the patient
  • allow the price of medicines and a statement on how the costs of medicines are met to be published on dispensing labels should this be required for NHS medicines dispensed as part of the NHS pharmaceutical services
  • clarify the current dispensing label requirements for monitored dosage systems and medicines supplied under patient group directions
  • amend the pharmacists’ exemption in section 10 of the Medicines Act, regarding the preparation and assembly of medicines, following a judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union.