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Media And Political Bulletin 20 September 2017

Media Summary

80% drop in EEA pharmacist registrations ‘potentially’ due to Brexit

Chemist and Druggist, Thomas Cox, 20 September 2017

 

Chemist and Druggist reports on the 82% decline in the registration of European pharmacists in Great Britain. The number of European Economic Area (EEA) pharmacists registering in the UK dropped from 166 in April-June 2016, to just 30 in the same period this year, according to a report published for the General Pharmaceutical Council meeting held at the beginning of September. The fall “potentially reflects the impact of Brexit and our new English language requirements”, the GPhC has said.

 

Scottish government sets out strategy to transform pharmacy

Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis, 19 September 2017

 

Pharmacy Business highlights the Scottish government’s new strategy for developing the role of pharmacy with a pledge to ensure it is “an integral and enhanced part of a modern NHS in Scotland.”

Nine commitments were made in the government’s vision document, ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care: A Strategy for Scotland,’ including securing community pharmacies as the first port of call for managing self-limiting illnesses and supporting the self-management of long-term conditions. The government also wants to integrate pharmacists with pharmacy technicians in GP practices, “transform” hospital pharmacy services and increase access to pharmaceutical care in remote and rural areas.

 

MHRA expresses concerns over drugs sold online

Pharmaceutical Journal, 19 September 2017

 

The MHRA has met with the National Pharmacy Association to discuss concerns that community pharmacies are breaching legislation covering the online sale and supply of medicines in the UKThe law requires sellers of medicines online to apply for a European-wide common clickable logo, managed by the MHRA, which must be displayed on every page of the website that offers to supply medicines to the public at a distance.

 

The MHRA’s concerns stem from reports from agencies in other EEA countries that “a number of pharmacies” are supplying UK products outside of the UK, and that some are failing to display the required logo as directed.

 

 

 

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80% drop in EEA pharmacist registrations ‘potentially’ due to Brexit

Chemist and Druggist, Thomas Cox, 20 September 2017

 

An 82% fall in European pharmacists registering in Great Britain may have been caused by Brexit, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has speculated.

 

The number of European Economic Area (EEA) pharmacists registering in the UK dropped from 166 in April-June 2016, to just 30 in the same period this year, according to a report published for the GPhC’s council meeting earlier this month (September 7).

 

The fall “potentially reflects the impact of Brexit and our new English language requirements”, the GPhC said in its report.

 

The overall number of pharmacist registrations also experienced a drop – of 61% – between April-June 2016 and the same period last year, according to figures in the GPhC report.

 

In an exclusive interview with C+D last week (September 11), GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the regulator is “not concerned” about the European figures, as “it’s not for us to be worried or pleased” about the number of EEA registrations.

 

The GPhC does not have a role in “workforce planning”, he explained.

 

The drop “could be” due to Brexit, he continued, but the GPhC has not researched the issue. The regulator “might” look into it, but understanding the cause is “not necessarily a high priority”.

 

There could be a “whole range of factors” at play in this “very complicated” issue, he said, including employment prospects in Great Britain, as well as events in EEA pharmacists’ home countries.

 

The GPhC’s new English language requirements came into force in December last year. They require pharmacy professionals who qualified in EEA countries to provide evidence they have the “requisite English skills to practise safely in Great Britain”.

 

Scottish government sets out strategy to transform pharmacy

Pharmacy Business, Neil Trainis, 19 September 2017

 

The Scottish government has set out its strategy for developing the role of pharmacy with a pledge to ensure it is “an integral and enhanced part of a modern NHS in Scotland.”

 

Nine commitments were made in the government’s vision document, ‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care: A Strategy for Scotland,’ including securing community pharmacies as the first port of call for managing self-limiting illnesses and supporting the self-management of long-term conditions.

 

The government also wants to integrate pharmacists with pharmacy technicians in GP practices, “transform” hospital pharmacy services and increase access to pharmaceutical care in remote and rural areas.

 

The commitments, set out under two priorities – improving NHS pharmaceutical care and enabling NHS pharmaceutical care transformation – are a sign of the value the Scottish government has placed in community pharmacy.

 

“These priorities for the future of NHS pharmaceutical care that are set out in this strategy, integrated within a modern digitally-enabled health and social care system in Scotland, have the potential to open up new and rewarding career pathways for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in increasingly clinical roles,” said Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer.

 

“I am, though, mindful that the demands of professional practice, with its uncertainty, instability, uniqueness and value conflicts will bring about many future challenges and demands for individuals within the pharmacy profession.

 

“Therefore, I will also ensure that there is a continued focus going forward on supporting the professional pharmacy practitioner, recognising the often difficult judgments and personal commitments required. This can be achieved in part through education, developing clinical capability and competence and enabling leadership development and professionalism.”

 

Duncan Rudkin, the chief executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said: “We welcome the publication of Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care, and support its goals for further improvements to the health and care of patients in Scotland.

 

“The GPhC remains committed to regulating in a way that supports the delivery of safe and effective care across Great Britain, whilst recognising and responding to the local context in which that care is delivered.

 

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Scottish government to achieve our shared ambition to further improve the quality of pharmaceutical care in Scotland.”

MHRA expresses concerns over drugs sold online

Pharmaceutical Journal, 19 September 2017

 

Are community pharmacies breaching legislation covering the online sale and supply of medicines in the UK? The MHRA and NPA have met to discuss their concerns.

 

The Medicines Healthcare products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has met with the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) to discuss concerns that community pharmacies are breaching legislation covering the online sale and supply of medicines in the UK.

 

The law requires sellers of medicines online to apply for a European-wide common clickable logo, managed by the MHRA, which must be displayed on every page of the website that offers to supply medicines to the public at a distance. Customers can click on the logo to check if it is authorised to sell medicines. This applies to all medicines, not just prescription-only (POM) or pharmacy (P) medicines. How the logo works is explained in the MHRA’s guidance, ‘Selling human medicines online (distance selling) to the public’.

 

If medicines are sold to a customer in another European Economic Area (EEA) member state, the medicine must have a marketing authorisation in that country and the medicine must be the version that is authorised in the destination country.

 

The MHRA’s concerns stem from reports from sister agencies in other EEA countries that “a number of pharmacies” are supplying UK products outside of the UK, and that some are failing to display the required logo as directed. The concerns have also been triggered by investigations into a small number of deaths in recent months involving individuals in the UK who had bought POMs online.

 

“There are some interesting issues that are being raised around buying healthcare online,” said Lynda Scammell, senior policy advisor at the MHRA.

 

“In the UK, prescription only medicines can be offered online, provided all legal requirements are met – such as requiring a valid prescription and dispensing through a registered pharmacy.

 

“We urge the public to check for the Distance Selling Logo, which connects to a list of nationally registered suppliers, when considering purchasing medicines online,” she said.

 

Scammell added that buying healthcare and medicines online was raising challenges for regulators and the MHRA was working closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the General Medical Council (GMC) to make sure acceptable standards of patient care were met.

 

 

Pharmacies that are found to be operating illegally may have their registration suspended, or removed from the MHRA list of UK registered online retail sellers, or have their registration entry varied by the MHRA.

Media And Political Bulletin 20 September 2017

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