Concerns referred to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) continues to rise for a third year, according to its 21/22 annual report.

According to the GPhC’s 21/22 Annual Report, the overall number of concerns received in 2021/22 were 3,080, compared with 2,998 in 2020/21 and 2,985 in 2019/20.

The GPhC commented that:

“It is difficult to give reasons for the increase because there are many possible causes and there were no notable increases in any individual type of concern received.”

The GPhC did however state that it has seen some “small changes” in where concerns come from.

Members of the public continued to raise more than half the concerns we received, and that number is slightly down on last year’s. Concerns from employers, police and other enforcement organisations, and from self-declarations, have decreased.

The numbers from all other sources have increased, with the most notable increase in concerns being those from other healthcare professionals.

The GPhC also reported increases in the number of cases referred to the Investigating Committee and its Fitness to Practise Committee.

Online Pharmacies

The GPhC said it has, and continues to, focus efforts to inspect and take enforcement action against online pharmacies that were not following its guidance and not meeting its standards when supplying high-risk medicines.  It said:

By carrying out targeted inspections in higher-risk areas, we are focusing our efforts on prioritising patient safety. We have taken enforcement action against online pharmacies found to be not following our guidance and meeting our standards when supplying high-risk medicines. In most of these cases we have imposed conditions preventing these pharmacies from selling or supplying opioids and other controlled drugs. We have referred a number of individual pharmacy professionals involved in prescribing or supplying medicines to our fitness to practise process.

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