GPhC consults on 7.5 per cent renewal fee rises
By Neil Trainis
The General Pharmaceutical Council is consulting on proposals to increase pharmacists’ registration renewal fees from April next year from £257 to £276.
The £19 rise is one of a series of proposals being considered by the regulator, including upping pharmacy technicians’ renewal fees by £9 from £121 to £130 and those of pharmacy premises by £27 from £365 to £392.
The GPhC said it was proposing to “keep fees at the present level during 2023” but insisted the 7.5 per cent rises in 2024 were down to increasing costs that are “affecting all operations across the organisation equally.”
In its report outlining the fee increase proposals, the GPhC said it will continue looking for ways to save costs, including moving out of its headquarters at Canary Wharf and into “smaller premises that will generate some cost savings.”
But it warned rising operational costs caused by higher inflation rates, greater utility bills and supplier costs as well as cost-of-living pressures for GPhC staff, had forced the regulator to act. Its consultation on the fee rises closes on 8 August.
“Our budget forecasting predicts that we will face a budget deficit in the coming years unless we increase our income,” it said. “If we didn’t increase our income to cover our costs, we would be forced to cut back on our regulatory work.
“We would no longer be able to offer the same level of assurance to patients and the public that the care they receive is safe and effective.”
GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said while the regulator appreciated cost-of-living pressures were impacting everyone affected by “below inflation” fee increases, those measures had to be considered.
“In the last few years, we have been able to avoid raising many of these fees by improving our efficiency and by using our financial reserves to cover any gap between our income and our outgoings. While we are continuing to look for ways to make savings, we now have to consider increasing fees,” he said.
He said he hoped “that by proposing this change well in advance, we can help those who need to pay fees plan accordingly.”