Current regulations state that people living within one mile of a pharmacy cannot register as dispensing patients at a dispensing practice.
But Dispensing Doctors' Association (DDA) chief executive Dr David Baker said these rules do not fit with the government's stated intention to give patients more choice.
'Choice is being pushed so heavily in the reforms, and yet this one bit of choice is being denied to patients,' argued Dr Baker.
'It is very difficult to marry the political rhetoric for choice with the regulatory framework for dispensing practices.'
A dispensing GP who asked not to be named said the dispensing rules should be updated to increase the options open to patients.
One possibility would be to allow people registering with a dispensing practice now and in the future the option of being a non-dispensing or a dispensing patient,' he said.
He said this would open up competition between dispensing practices and pharmacies on a 'level playing field'.
He said: 'It is time for the regulators to create fair regulations to allow true patient choice. It is then up to pharmacists and dispensing doctors to rise to the challenge of fair competition which will undoubtedly result in a better and safer service to patients.'
Dr Baker said the current regulations destabilise dispensing practices and are inconvenient for some patients.