Fife pharmacy plans threaten dispensing doctor

Permission for a rural pharmacy to be opened in a village post office in Fife has caused controversy among locals.

Residents in Leuchars have held a public meeting on the issue, as it is feared that the new pharmacy will have a detrimental effect on the region's dispensing doctor surgery.

If the pharmacy is opened, the village's GPs surgery could lose its lucrative medication dispensing contract, which accounts for half of its income.

Dr Bryan Johnston, who runs two dispensaries from his Leuchars and Balmullo practices, told STV that the money raised through dispensing medication is re-invested in the surgery and helps the practice improve its services.

However, James Semple, who will open the new pharmacy, said: "Community pharmacies such as this one are being established in retail premises in villages and towns all over Scotland.

"Losing a dispensing facility couldn't possibly impact on the surgery as general medical services are funded separately and not dependent on money raised from dispensing."

Meanwhile, the UK's Commission for Employment and Skills recently introduced a new range of dispensing doctor qualifications.

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