The GPhC has published new guidance which sets out the key areas that need to be considered by registered pharmacies that provide services at a distance. All pharmacies that provide services such as the electronic prescription service, a collection and delivery service or an internet pharmacy service will be expected to follow the guidance.
Guidance for registered pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance, including on the internet sets out what pharmacy owners and superintendents of a body corporate must consider in areas including risk assessments, regular audits and managing websites. Other key issues covered include providing patients with the information they need so they can make an informed decision about their medicines and the pharmacy services they use, and ensuring that patient information is held securely and in line with data protection legislation.
The guidance will help ensure that pharmacy services and the sale or supply of medicines are safe in those instances where patients may not have face to face interaction with a pharmacy professional.
Commenting on the publication of the guidance, Duncan Rudkin, Chief Executive of the GPhC, said:
“Different ways of providing pharmacy services are becoming increasingly common and this new guidance will help pharmacies wanting to introduce new ways of providing services to their patients.
“We’re grateful for the helpful feedback we received on our draft guidance during the consultation period last year. It has allowed us to ensure that the final guidance strikes the right balance between supporting innovation and providing medicines or pharmacy services in a way that is safe to patients and the general public.
“We expect that this guidance will apply to almost every pharmacy and I would urge all pharmacy owners, superintendents and staff to engage with it. This will help them to make sure that they have identified and managed all risks, and that they supply medicines and services safely to patients.”
The guidance will be periodically reviewed and can be read here.