A new reduction in the fee scale for dispensing doctors in the UK has been agreed on by the General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the British Medical Association and NHS Employers.

The new fee scale, to be effective from 1 October 2009, has been decreased by 8.7% for the remaining six months of the financial year, which is a 4.9% decrease across the whole year.

GPC lead negotiator on dispensing David Bailey said that many patients in rural areas depend on dispensing practices for their medicine.

“I am very concerned that NHS Employers have underestimated the costs of providing dispensing services, which inevitably rise with increasing volume,” Bailey said.