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Health - Djanogly presents pharmacy petition to Parliament


3rd April 2003

Jonathan Djanogly this week presented two petitions to Parliament expressing opposition to plans to deregulate pharmacy services.

Jonathan Djanogly, Member of Parliament for the Huntingdon Constituency, this week presented two petitions to Parliament expressing opposition to plans to deregulate pharmacy services.

Local Huntingdonshire residents have been outraged by the recommendations of a recent Office of Fair Trading report, that there be more competition between small local chemists and supermarkets, measures that it is estimated could put up to 6,000 pharmacies out of business. The petitions, organised by the Brampton and Kimbolton pharmacies, were signed by 2,253 local residents, and have been repeated all over the country.

Mr Djanogly said:

"These proposals would be disastrous for rural communities. People in rural areas, particularly the elderly and disabled, need services to be local. If supermarkets are allowed to open up pharmacies wherever they want, it could force large amounts of small local pharmacies to close, leaving many people miles away from their nearest pharmacy service.

The fact that so many people in our area have signed these petitions shows the strength of local feeling on the issue. I have to say that many of my colleagues in other rural areas have had the same response, and we are putting pressure on the Government not to accept the recommendations of this report.

It is no good improving the service just for those that live next door to a supermarket â€" this Government needs to remember that not everyone is in that position. They say that they are committed to 'increasing access to pharmacy services' â€" if this is the case they must reject these proposals."

Mr Djanogly added:

"This Government insists piling on the regulations where they are not needed, but when they do deregulate, they do it to the wrong thing. When will they learn â€" if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it."

The Government is currently considering the OFT report and will publish a response, with their proposals, at the end of June.

Notes

1.) Enc. - Petition: Hansard 1/04/04 page col. 874

2.) Deregulation may close 6,000 pharmacies - http://society.guardian.co.uk/publichealth/story/0,11098,907850,00.html

3.) Market Study on retail pharmacies: http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topics2/pharmacy.htm

4.) Department of Trade and Industry Press Release: http://www.gnn.gov.uk/gnn/national.nsf/"



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