There are very few Pharmaceutical Needs Assessments ("PNA") that do in fact identify any need for new pharmacies and is is very rare to see successful applications made under regulation 13. This is particularly true at the current time as most PNAs are at the end of their lifespan and new PNAs are due to be issued later this year. Despite this we were approached by a client who wanted to make an Indentified Current Need application in Northumberland.
We reviewed the PNA and agreed with our client that a need had been properly identified for the new pharmacy. We then acted for our client to submit the required application and NHSE also agreed that the need had been properly identifed and approved the application.
The case was complicated by the fact that another pharmacy had opened since the PNA had been drafted and that pharmacy contractor appealed the NHSE decision and argued that their pharmacy had met the need identified and that the PNA was deficient and the process used to create the PNA was flawed.
Our case was that an appeal based on arguing that the PNA was incorrect was not permitted under the Regulations and the appeal should be dismissed. However, the Appeal Unit, whilst accepting this argument was correct, also felt that the Appellant had submitted additional arguments that required consideration. Despite this we were able to successfully defend against these other arguments and have the appeal dismissed Our client is now able to proceed with opening their new pharmacy.