MKB Law Succeeds In Recent Judicial Review For Local Business

Published 21 January 2021.

MKB Law have significant experience acting for both businesses and individuals in judicial review applications.

Our team were delighted to have recently acted for three local pharmacy businesses in a successful judicial review of a decision of the National Appeal Panel. The National Appeal Panel (the “NAP”) deals with appeals from applications to dispense pharmaceutical services made to the Pharmacy Practice committee, established by the Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland.

Our clients were objectors to an original application by an existing pharmacy for a “minor relocation” of its pharmacy business, which was granted by the NAP. The key statutory requirement that had to be satisfied by the applicant under the Pharmaceutical Services Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1997, was that the relocation would have no “appreciable effect” on the pharmaceutical services provided. Otherwise, the “minor relocation” could not properly be considered “minor”.

Our clients maintained that the intended relocation would indeed have an “appreciable effect” and judicially reviewed the decision of the NAP.

Upon hearing, the judicial review succeeded with the Judge quashing the NAP’s decision and making a declaration that the re-located premises was no longer on the pharmaceutical list and thus not entitled to administer pharmaceutical services.

A key issue contributing to the Judge’s decision was that additional pharmaceutical services – Medicine Use Reviews – were proposed to be offered at the re-located premises which had not been offered previously.

In the course of the hearing, it was established that Medicine Use Reviews clearly constituted a “pharmaceutical service.”

This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice.

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