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GPhC responds to BBC Inside Out London investigation
In response to a BBC Inside Out London investigation which has alleged that some pharmacies in London have illegally sold prescription-only drugs without a prescription, Duncan Rudkin, the Chief Executive of the General Pharmaceutical Council, said:
“Patients can be put at serious risk if they are supplied with prescription-only medicines unlawfully, without having a consultation with a health professional who is qualified to prescribe. As the pharmacy regulator, our role is to protect patients who use pharmacy services and we will investigate any concerns that we identify through our inspection regime, or that are brought to our attention, including the concerns raised by Inside Out London.
“We are already investigating a number of allegations that pharmacies in London have supplied medicines illegally and would urge anyone with concerns to contact us. We work with the police and other authorities as necessary and have powers to take action to safeguard patients, including removing a pharmacist’s right to practise in Great Britain.”
The GPhC has now started investigations into the allegations raised and is liaising with other agencies as appropriate to ensure a co-ordinated response.
Where it is necessary for the protection of members of the public or is otherwise in the public interest, the GPhC can seek urgent interim measures (called Interim Orders) which restrict the pharmacist's ability to practice for a specified period of time.