Almost a third of online pharmacies are not currently meeting the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) standards, the regulator has warned.
Speaking to delegates at the Sigma Conference 2023, Claire Bryce-Smith, GPhC’s director of Insight, Intelligence & Inspection, said that around 30% of the GPhC’s fitness to practice caseload involved online pharmacies, with many of these cases involving individuals operating outside their scope of practice.
Enforcement actions against 64 online pharmacies have taken place since April 2019, the GPhC confirmed to The Pharmacist.
Ms Bryce-Smith said that an increasing number of pharmacists were working across multiple settings, and that sometimes people working in an online pharmacy ‘seem to forget all the stuff that happens in community pharmacy systems’.
She added that in addition to a lack of procedures in place within some of these online pharmacy settings, the GPhC had also found that people were not speaking up about the lack of clinical governance in place.
Pharmacy reported that Ms Bryce-Smith also said that the GPhC was planning to review what its registration covered, due to the changing nature of community pharmacy.
In order to have a better idea of what it registers and how it registers it, the GPhC would undertake a review of its registration of premises in 2023/34 and of pharmacists in 2024/25.
She said: ‘The world of pharmacy is more than just supplying Ps and POMs’, she said, adding that the GPhC was ‘committed to reviewing what we register, why we register it, and the basis for registration’.
Ms Bryce-Smith also said that the GPhC was working with commissioners to embed clinical governance within clinical services, including within vaccination services.
Disclaimer: The accuracy and information of news stories published on this website is accurate on the date of publishing. We endeavour to update stories if information change. You can contact us with change and update requests. Where possible, we will link to sources. Content on this website is for guidance purposes only. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability whatsoever for any action taken, or not taken. You should seek the appropriate legal advice having regard to your own particular circumstances.