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Will Independent Prescribing take money away from GPs, will AI?

By: Sabrina Clarke

· Sustainability

Independent Prescribing will be introduced in the UK in 2026. Pharmacists will be permitted to prescribe medication for common ailments. While this relieves a burden from GPs on the one hand, it also creates other issues.  

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In the UK, you are assigned a GP on the majority based on where you live. From that perspective, the fluctuation of registered patients is primarily based on who moves into or out of an area. As people have more needs than common ailments prescriptions from their GPs, this change shouldn't be significant for patient registration. However, GP salaries might be impacted.

The minimum wage of GPs is circa £68,975, and £49,923 for Pharmacists in England. If demand increases for Pharmacists, so will supply and warrant more pay. As the government is not in the habit of increasing the wages of healthcare workers, where would the money come from?

My view
Instead of increasing pay, the government could redistribute money from GPs to Pharmacists, which would be tragic.

And at some point, prescriptions can be automated and therefore both Pharmacists and GPs would be impacted.