Press Release: PDA response to leaked DoH document on supervision of medicines supply by pharmacy technicians

The PDA have responded after the Chemist & Druggist reported the content of a leaked Department of health document.

Thu 14th September 2017 The PDA


The PDA recognises that before any changes to the supervision regime are made, there must first be a clear and comprehensive vision for pharmaceutical care in the UK and an understanding of what part community pharmacy should play in that vision; currently no such agreed vision exists. It is entirely possible to develop a strategy that will allow pharmacists to fully apply their unique skills in pharmaceutical care in the community pharmacy while ensuring patient safety, giving value to the taxpayer whilst simultaneously allowing pharmacists to develop a professionally fulfilling career.

The PDA has heard from its members and a wide range of other stakeholders about how best to achieve such an outcome and we are soon to be announcing those ideas. The important contribution pharmacy technicians can make in community pharmacy will clearly feature in that approach, however, their contribution must make pharmacists more accessible to the public in the community pharmacy and not less so; as is being advocated by the government’s suggestion of remote supervision.

The PDA continues to invite the Department of Health and others to engage in this essential thinking to improve pharmacy for all and work together to shape the profession for the better.

The PDA also has a long history of campaigning against ill-thought out and piecemeal proposals that would have a negative impact on patients or the profession.

Mark Koziol, Chair of PDA, said: “We are very concerned by the report of the leaked document in the Chemist & Druggist (13 September 2017). Since 2006, the PDA has devoted much time and energy to resisting remote supervision proposals, within the profession, in Parliament and amongst other healthcare organisations and we will continue to do so. We know that a major reason why remote supervision isn’t already in place is because of widespread and consistent resistance to such proposals for more than a decade. Our opposition to remote supervision remains as strong as ever; we firmly believe that it is inconceivable that a pharmacy without a pharmacist present would ever be able to safely meet the needs of patients.

He continued: “The PDA is a member of a wider stakeholder group with whom the Department of Health and its Rebalancing Committee are required to discuss any such proposals. We can confirm that we have not been approached about this suggestion, nor has there been a wider stakeholder group meeting for several years. However, pharmacists should be mindful that there are some who would progress such an agenda if and when they believed they could succeed. We believe that any individual or organisation purporting to represent pharmacists on the Rebalancing Committee that has been aware of such proposals and that did not oppose them when they surfaced at the meetings, should outline their reasons. Any member of the Rebalancing Committee who has claimed to oppose these ideas publicly, but has not done so in the reported private meetings, or worse still was involved in generating such proposals in the first place needs to explain their actions to those they claim to represent.”

Pharmacists can be re-assured that with 27,000 members, the PDA now has an even stronger voice than on the previous occasions when it has had to mobilise resistance to remote supervision and it will do so with vigour should these draft proposals seek to take on some real substance.

Mark Koziol concluded: “We will always defend pharmacists and their ambition to deliver high quality care for patients and any PDA members concerned about this issue or with any information about such potentially damaging plans should contact us.

All those involved in the Rebalancing Committee discussions that this leak has exposed, should understand that the very fact that such proposals could even have been drafted and were being discussed in private, without engagement from the wider profession, will have caused much concern amongst pharmacists and others who care about patient safety and the quality of pharmaceutical care. The Rebalancing Committee must increase the transparency of its discussions in future and make sure they listen to pharmacists working on the front line.”





Editors requiring further information should contact:

Kayleigh Mapstone

Tel:     0121 694 7000


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