FWD starts fight against unnecessary inspections

The FWD is calling for rules on inspections to be changed to prevent wholesalers being unfairly penalised.

The move comes after Peter Lowrie, managing director of Lowries Cash Carry, protested about fees the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency imposed on him.
FWD director general John Murphy has held previous talks with the agency about its charges, but after the latest incident he said he would approach the Better Regulation Task Force seeking a change in the law.

Lowrie protested after the agency wrote to him telling him it would inspect the way his depot stored medicines, and told him it would charge him him £499 for its visit.

Lowrie said the entire stock of medicines held at his depot was worth less than £500 and there was no way it would make enough profit to cover the fee.

He said: “Multiple retailers can stock and sell medicines without regulation. This is significant on two points – first they are breaking open shipping cases which we do not, and second they are dealing with the public which we do not.”

Murphy said the law requiring inspections had been introduced after an isolated incident, and he would be putting forward evidence to the task force of unnecessary inspection.

He said: “This really is a nonsense. If there is a risk why don’t they inspect the supermarkets’ distribution centres? We should be viewed in the same light, and if there is no risk then the law requiring inspection should be changed.”

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