Wholesalers are threatening to stop supplying over-the-counter medicines unless changes are made to the charges imposed on them for stock inspections.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency charges wholesalers an inspection fee of £499 in order to retain their licence. Retailers do not face the same charge.
John Murphy, director general of the FWD,said there was no reason that wholesalers should be treated differently. He said the procedure had been introduced after poorly stored medicines had been spotted on sale in one wholesaler and thus the whole industry had to suffer.
Northeast wholesaler Lowries was this week informed an inspection was due. MD Peter Lowry was infuriated at the prospect of paying £499 for inspection of stock valued at less than £500. He said that if it was not viable to sell these medicines, it would have an impact on rural communities.
Murphy said the FWD would make representation to the Better Regulation Task Force.