Health and beauty giant Boots has failed in its bid to operate a pharmacy at a Dundee retail park.
The retailer had applied to NHS Tayside for permission to dispense prescription medicines from its store at Kingsway West Retail Park.
Unless Boots appeals the store can only sell off-the-shelf drugs such as paracetamol. The firm is considering its next steps.
Tayside’s pharmacy practices committee concluded the firm had not done enough to justify its case.
Health boards consider pharmacy bids on the basis of the “neighbourhood” they would be based in – in this case the retail park itself – and if the area is already well-served.
Kathleen Cowle, healthcare development manager at Boots, said the retail park would benefit from a late-opening pharmacy.
She told the meeting: “We believe feedback from current customers will show there is inadequacy within the neighbourhood.”
Other pharmacy operators argued the area was sufficiently provided for, with 10 pharmacies within a 1.2 mile radius of Boots.
Nisith Mathwani, of Well Pharmacy, said: “This application is all about convenience, not adequacy or need. Convenience is not a reason for granting a pharmacy contract.”
After hearing from other local pharmacies, the committee agreed the provision in the area was “adequate” and refused the bid.
Boots first signalled its intention to open a pharmacy at its Kingsway store in May last year.
An online consultation received 341 responses from locals, but this was seen as underwhelming compared to the 106,000 people who visit the retail park each week.
The decision was presented to the NHS Tayside board by committee chairwoman Lorna Birse-Stewart, who noted: “There had been a lot of interest in this from the local community pharmacies.”
A spokeswoman for Boots said the firm was “disappointed” in the decision, adding: “We’re considering our options on how to move forwards.”