Plans to make medicines dispensing more efficient
Medication in blister packs.

The government has announced changes to medicine dispensaries in an effort to make the process of getting medication easier for patients.

Currently, larger pharmacy chains can take advantage of the efficiencies and cost-savings that come with centralising the dispensing of medicines at a larger ‘hub’.  

But smaller independent pharmacies are unable to operate the same model due to legal restrictions on dispensing for pharmacies under different ownership, meaning they can face additional costs and workload. 

The changes will move closer to making the ‘hub and spoke’ model universally available, allowing pharmacies belonging to different legal entities to use hubs belonging to other companies.

They said this will enable pharmacists to dispense medicines more efficiently and spend more time dealing face to face with patients.

Primary care minister, Andrea Leadsom said: “These proposals will level the playing field and enable our hard-working community pharmacies to benefit from centralised dispensing.

“It will also free up highly skilled pharmacists from back-office duties to deliver patient-facing services, including Pharmacy First and contraception consultations, supply medicines and provide advice.”

The government ran a consultation on its plans for a wider ‘hub and spoke’ model rollout in 2022 and received an overwhelmingly positive response.  

Now, subject to Parliamentary approval, all pharmacies will have an option of two hub and spoke models from 2025.