AUDIO: Pharmacies competing with NHS dispensaries

You And Yours reports today on private pharmacies using the Freedom of Information Act to identify the most profitable regions in Scotland to set up shop – leading to the closure of practice-based dispensaries.

Sadly there’s no information online other than the full broadcast, but there’s some background on BBC News Scotland:

About 60 surgeries face losing income from dispensing drugs after pharmacists used the Freedom of Information Act to find out how much they were making.

They found that about half of the estimated 130 rural surgeries with their own dispensaries had turnovers of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Now pharmacists are applying to set up shops in lucrative areas.

And a campaign site with the memorable acronym SODS: Save Our Dispensing Surgeries, who have also been using the FOI Act:

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act we now have had access to the annual net income for 2010/2011 received by each retail community pharmacy in Scotland.  At first count there are around 1300.

It makes interesting reading! We are now looking further into this as some of the sums listed are eye-wateringly large. It is now understandable why pharmacies can change hands for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you’re interested in data around prescriptions, check out the Prescriptions Pricing Division, which has a very useful disclosure log of previous FOI requests and an online form for making your own FOI request (the email address on the FOI page does not work)