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Press Release: PDA fights to stop the threat of Remote Supervision

Emergency Meeting called for Sunday 8th and Monday 9th October at the Pharmacy Show, NEC Birmingham.

Tue 26th September 2017 The PDA

PDA fights to stop the threat of Remote Supervision

An Emergency Meeting is being called for Sunday 8th and Monday 9th October at the Pharmacy Show, NEC Birmingham.

 Since 2006, the PDA has been fighting the threat of remote supervision. The plan to operate a pharmacy in the absence of a pharmacist is just not safe for patients, but like a weed in the garden, every time it’s cut back it returns. The government has tried many times in the past to change the current arrangements but has never managed to make progress due to the vigorous resistance that it has faced.

When this threat first surfaced, in 2006, the PDA knew how this would be used by some unscrupulous employers to reduce patient safety just to improve their profits by operating their pharmacies without a pharmacist.

Mark Koziol PDA Chairman said;

“Our worst fears were confirmed when under the controversial 2009 Responsible Pharmacist regulations, certain large multiple pharmacies, using what they call and Advanced Declaration Template (ADT) started operating their residential homes dispensing operations in the pharmacy in the absence of a pharmacist for two hours before the RP arrives at 9.00am. They require the RP to sign the RP register to show that they were signed on from 7.00am to make the process ‘legitimate’, making the pharmacist fully responsible for all the dispensing that was done before they arrived for work. Just imagine what would happen if Remote Supervision became fully legal! “

Since 2011, the government has been considering Remote Supervision as part of the work of the Rebalancing Committee. Unsurprisingly, considering the PDA’s resistance to Remote Supervision, the PDA is not on this committee.

Mark Koziol continued;

 “In the Rebalancing Committee, the detailed discussions are kept away from the wider profession and only ’sanitised’ minutes are ever released. We know what the government and the pharmacy technicians want to achieve, but we are less clear about what our pharmacy representatives are agreeing to and what their motivations are – this concerns us enormously.  A wider stakeholder group is supposed to help inform their work. The PDA is a member of this wider group – but no stakeholder group meeting has been held for several years. There has been a shocking and unacceptable lack of engagement and transparency shown by this committee, we are now being led to believe that even the Health Secretary did not know what they were discussing. “

Recently, in a memo leaked to the pharmacy press, it transpires that this committee is proposing to enable pharmacy technicians to supervise the sale and supply of P and POM medicines in the absence of a pharmacist. The Rebalancing Committee should have been looking at the supervision arrangements to make the pharmacist more accessible to the public in a community pharmacy and not less so; it is difficult to contemplate a proposal that could be less supportive of this aim.

Since the leak, they have now agreed to discuss this proposal with stakeholders with the intention of moving ahead with a public consultation.

 There is no doubt that the time to Stop Remote Supervision finally has arrived.

 The PDA will be holding an emergency meeting so that pharmacists can discuss the plan to Stop Remote Supervision that has been developed and to let them know what they can do to help.

The organisers of the Pharmacy Show have agreed that this meeting can be held in the Keynote Theatre, and this allows a meeting to be held at very short notice (one meeting but held twice) on both Sunday 8th and Monday 9th of October giving pharmacists a choice of dates to attend and to make it more accessible. The meeting will be held at 5.00pm on Sunday 8th and 11.45am on Monday 9th of October in the Keynote Theatre – please note the capacity of the theatre is 400.

Pharmacists are invited to attend the campaign to Stop Remote Supervision!

Notes for Editors:  


The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) is a not for profit organisation and trade union which aims to act upon and support the needs of individual pharmacists and, when necessary, to defend their reputation. It currently has more than 27,000 members.

The primary aims of the PDA are to:

  • Support pharmacists in their legal, practice and employment needs.
  • Represent the individual or collective concerns of pharmacists in the most appropriate manner.
  • Proactively seek to influence the professional, practice and employment agenda to support members.
  • Lead and support initiatives designed to improve the knowledge and skills of pharmacists in managing risk and safe practices, so improving patient care.
  • Work with like-minded organisations to further improve the membership benefits to individual pharmacists.
  • Provide insurance cover to safeguard and defend the reputation of the individual pharmacist.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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