Boots calls for changes to pharmacy regulations

Boots The Chemists has called on the Government to amend - but retain in principle - regulations that restrict where pharmacies can open.

In a submission to the Departments of Health and Trade & Industry, the retailer also highlights what it believes are cost and savings miscalculations made by the Office of Fair Trading in its January report recommending that entry regulations be scrapped.

Boots believes the entry system can be speeded up and simplified by introducing a non-refundable£500 fee for every pharmacy contract application, applying deadlines for authorising bodies to work to and easing the rules on certain types of pharmacy applications.

The retailer says the OFT's estimate of potential cost savings is 'significantly overstated', and that the£16 million estimate of the cost of regulation to business is out by as much as£124 million.