PDA work positively with the GPhC to improve patient safety

As part of our work to improve patient safety through better working conditions in UK pharmacy practice, we often respond to consultation proposals from the GPhC and other government bodies to influence the profession, practice and employment agenda to support members.

Thu 18th April 2019 The PDA

Last year, the GPhC issued a public consultation on proposals to make sure patients and the public obtain medicines and other pharmacy services safely online. The consultation ran from 26 June to 21 August 2018 (read more).

The GPhC has now issued new guidance for pharmacy owners providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet. The guidance introduces further safeguards in the following key areas – in the GPhC’s words:

Making sure medicines are clinically appropriate for patients – online pharmacies will have to make sure:

  • there are robust processes in place to carry out identity checks on people obtaining medicines
  • the pharmacy team can identify requests for medicines that are inappropriate, including by being able to identify multiple orders to the same address or orders using the same payment details
  • the pharmacy websites do not allow a patient to choose a prescription-only medicine and its quantity before there has been an appropriate consultation with a prescriber.

The PDA was broadly supportive of the principles within the guidance and we are pleased to see that the GPhC has adopted some of our recommendations.

The GPhC has said that online pharmacies “will have to follow” the guidance, though this may overstate its effect. The document states that whilst they expect pharmacies to follow the guidance, pharmacies choosing not to follow it will be expected to demonstrate how their alternative methods meet GPhC standards. It remains to be seen how the GPhC will deal with pharmacies choosing not to follow the guidance.  We will watch this space with interest.

Our latest consultation responses can be found here.

Downloaded the new GPhC guidance here

thumbnail of guidance_for_registered_pharmacies_providing_pharmacy_services_at_a_distance_including_on_the_internet_april_2019

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