Colin Beattie MSP has expressed great concern over the Pharmacy Practices Committee’s (PPC) decision to reject the appeal of the application for a pharmacy in Rosewell.
The PPC rejected the original application in October last year which saw rival three local pharmaceutical companies present at the hearing to represent their arguments but only one member of the local community from the Community Council. No other parties of local interest such as the Rosewell Development Trust, local Elected Representatives, local GPs or the Health and Social Care Partnership were invited to give their own arguments or even had their letters of support considered. Instead, all local letters of support were dismissed in favour of the views of rival pharmaceutical companies.
Mr Beattie argues that to current system is flawed and not fit for purpose.
Commenting, Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie said:
“I find it hard to believe that such a Byzantine system is in place. The confrontational process pharmacy applicants are subjected to during these hearings and the interests of rival pharmacies being prioritised over the needs of a local community is just neither fair nor acceptable.
“The current system needs urgently addressed to reflect the current needs of our communities – not the financial needs of large pharmaceutical companies.
“The views of our communities must be heard but in this case, they were completely disregarded. Local elected representatives, including myself, all gave strong letters of support both for the original application and the subsequent appeal the local Health and Social Care Partnership also strongly supported – but neither views were even considered.
“Applicants do not have much standing against their pharmaceutical rivals whose arguments go unquestioned during the process leading to allegedly biased, distorted, and inaccurate information being taken at face value over the real situation communities face.
“It is time that this system is changed. It is time that rival pharmaceutical arguments are put in perspective during hearings. Most importantly, it is time a transparent and fair assessment process is put in place to prioritise our communities’ needs and to stop protecting the vested interests of large companies.
“I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf MSP, requesting a meeting on this matter with hope that real change can be made to this outdated unfair legacy system which appears to pre-date devolution.”