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Chemists' body loses its legal battle over State funds

By Alan Erwin

Published 17/02/2016

A body representing chemists in Northern Ireland has lost its latest legal challenge over funding
A body representing chemists in Northern Ireland has lost its latest legal challenge over funding

A body representing chemists in Northern Ireland has lost its latest legal challenge over funding.

Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI) wanted a High Court judge to quash the decision by health chiefs to not make interim payments to its members over the last two financial years.

CPNI has now mounted three separate judicial review applications - all centred on the duty to publish a drug tariff for Northern Ireland to be used in calculating payments to local chemists.

Its challenges stretch back to 2011, when concerns were raised about cuts of up to £38m being imposed on the community pharmacy budget.

CPNI's latest legal action was against the Department of Health for not making interim payments to pharmacy owners for 2013/14 and 2014/15.

Mr Justice Treacy ruled: "There is no basis whatsoever upon which the applicant can establish a legitimate expectation that interim payments would continue beyond 2012/13."

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