PHARMACY PREMISES FEES
A consultation on the level of fees to be charged from
1 January 2012
Under section 129(6) of the Medicines Act 1968 it is the responsibility of
Ministers to make regulations in relation to fees under the Act, and it is the
responsibility of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to
consult with interested organisations and current registered premises holders.
This document sets out proposals by the Department of Health, Social Services
and Public Safety to increase pharmacy premises fees commencing on 1
The fees proposed in this consultation cover retention, registration and
restoration and are intended to produce income for funding of the
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) administration costs and the
Department’s inspection costs.
This document sets out the current fee structure and the proposals for 2012
premises fee levels, and invites comment.
A list of organisations and persons being consulted is at Annex 1.
The Department would welcome your comments on the proposals.
Health Protection Branch
26 August 2011
The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland was established in 1925 by the
Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Northern Ireland) 1925, and has been based at 73
University Street since 1933. The Society currently maintains a register of over
2000 pharmacists and over 500 premises registered in Northern Ireland.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is the regulatory and
professional body for pharmacists in Northern Ireland. As the regulatory body it
seeks to protect public safety in pharmacy by:
setting and promoting standards for pharmacists’ admission to the
register and for remaining on the register;
maintaining a publicly accessible register of pharmacists and
pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland;
handling concerns about the fitness to practice of registrants and
taking any necessary action to protect the public, and
ensuring high standards of education and training for pharmacists in
As the professional membership body it seeks to provide a leadership role for
pharmacists and pharmacy in Northern Ireland.
The Pharmaceutical Society is a legal entity and as such has powers and
duties under the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976. The Society exists to
provide a framework for the profession to operate within and maintain patient
safety at the centre of its practice.
The legislative objects of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, under
the Pharmacy (Northern Ireland) Order 1976 are:
to advance chemistry and pharmacy;
to promote pharmaceutical education and the application of
to maintain the honour and safeguard and promote the interests of the
members of the Society in their exercise of the profession of
to execute all such functions as may be entrusted to the Society under
an enactment, and
to provide relief for distressed persons.
The Society has a statutory responsibility for the maintenance of quality
standards within the profession, and issues its own code of ethics.
Under the Medicines Act 1968, pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland must be
registered with the PSNI and fees payable by pharmacy owners to the PSNI for
the registration of pharmacy premises are laid down in regulations made under
the Medicines Act 1968.
Under section 129(6) of the Medicines Act 1968 it is the responsibility of the
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to consult with
interested organisations and current registered premises holders annually when
setting such fees.
Pharmacists pay premises fees to the PSNI under three different headings:
registration, retention, and restoration.
The fees are designed to cover areas of expense to the Pharmaceutical
Society, in particular, the cost of developing and promoting any standards,
guidance or practice updates issued to pharmacy owners and superintendents.
This is a necessary and indeed essential part of good regulation, as recognised
by the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence (CHRE).
In previous years, the new level of fees was incorporated into legislation made
by GB to which the Northern Ireland Health Minister was co signatory.
Following legislation changes in GB, from 2010 onwards, the legislation for
Northern Ireland will be made by the Department.
The registration system is administered by a registrar appointed by DHSSPS
(in accordance with sections 69(3), 75 and 76 of the Medicines Act 1968).
DHSSPS also has statutory responsibilities under the Medicines Act 1968, the
Poisons Order (Northern Ireland) 1976, the Pharmacy Order (Northern Ireland)
1976, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2002, and the
Controlled Drugs (Supervision of Management and Use) Regulations (Northern
The current registration fee of £113 is payable on the registration of a new
pharmacy. This is compulsory for pharmacies wishing to open in Northern
Ireland. The current retention fee of £155 per annum is paid for continued
registration of pharmacy premises and is paid by pharmacies that wish to
continue to operate in Northern Ireland. The current restoration fee of £317 is
chargeable to pharmacies seeking restoration to the pharmacy register.
The proposal to increase premises retention fees will impact chiefly on
community pharmacies as these make up the majority of pharmacies which are
registered with the PSNI, although a small number of hospital pharmacies are
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is proposing that
the premises fees payable in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2012 should be
increased in line with inflation. In the last 12 months to 31 July 2011, RPI
inflation was 5%.
Fee Type Proposed fees payable from 2010 fees payable
1 Jan 2012 from 1 Jan 2011
Retention Fee £163 £155
Initial Registration Fee £119 £113
Restoration Fee £333 £317
Fees in Northern Ireland continue to be set at a lower level than in Great Britain
where, for example, the Retention Fee is set at £221
The Department invites your comments on these proposals
1. The Department may publish a summary of responses following
completion of the consultation process. Your response and all other
responses to the consultation may be disclosed in full on request. The
Department can only refuse to disclose information in exceptional
circumstances. Before submitting your response please read the
2. The Freedom of Information Act gives the public a right of access to any
information held by a public authority, namely the Department in this
case. This right of access to information includes information provided in
response to a consultation. The Department cannot automatically
consider as confidential information supplied to it in response to a
consultation. However, it does have the responsibility to decide whether
any information provided by you in response to this consultation,
including information about your identity should be made public or be
treated as confidential.
3. This means that information provided by you in response to the
consultation is unlikely to be treated as confidential, except in very
particular circumstances. The Lord Chancellor’s Code of Practice on the
Freedom of Information Act provides that:
the Department should only accept information from third parties
in confidence if it is necessary to obtain that information in
connection with the exercise of any of the Department’s functions
and it would not otherwise be provided;
the Department should not agree to hold information received
from third parties “in confidence” which is not confidential in
acceptance by the Department of confidentiality provisions must
be for good reasons, capable of being justified to the Information
4. For further information about confidentiality of responses please contact
the Information Commissioner’s Office or visit
Statutory equality duty in Northern Ireland
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 placed statutory equality
obligations on all public bodies. Each public authority, in carrying out its
functions in relation to Northern Ireland must have due regard to the need to
promote equality of opportunity
between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial
group, age, marital status or sexual orientation;
between men and women generally;
between persons with a disability and persons without, and
between persons with dependants and persons without.
Public bodies are also required to have regard to the desirability of promoting
good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or
The changes proposed under this consultation have been screened for the
purposes of the section 75 equality duty and as a result of that screening
exercise the Department has concluded that an equality impact assessment of
these proposals is not required.
Responding to this consultation
If you wish to comment on the proposed changes to premises fee please send
your comments by post, email or fax to:
Miss Karen Savage,
Health Protection Branch,
Belfast, BT4 3SQ
Fax: 02890 528490
Your response should reach the Department by 11 November 2011
Are you a Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of N.I?
Are you responding on behalf of a Pharmacy Premises Owner?
If yes, please state name and address of premises and owner.
Comments on the proposed changes
PREMISES FEES 2012
Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland
All pharmacy premises owners
All Northern Ireland party leaders
Members of the Assembly Committee for Health, Social Services and Public
OFMDFM Central Management Office
Guild of Hospital Pharmacists
Community Pharmacy (N.I)
Ulster Chemists Association