GPhC are reminding registrants they need to follow standards and guidance for providing distance pharmacy services.
Raising patient safety concerns relating to online prescribing services, the GPhC said:
“Our inspectors are continuing to identify serious patient safety concerns relating to registered pharmacies dispensing of prescription-only medicines from prescribers based in the EEA working alone or for third-party online prescribing service using online questionnaire-only based models.”
GPhC Director of Insight, Intelligence and Inspection, Claire Bryce-Smith, has written to organisations representing pharmacies and pharmacy professionals to highlight these patient safety concerns and to ask the organisations to help us to remind their members and networks of the importance of meeting GPhC standards and following its guidance.
Ms Bryce-Smith’s letter highlights that since April 2019, the GPhC has taken enforcement action against over 40 pharmacies linked to their provision of online pharmacy services. The majority of these pharmacies were working with online prescribing services that were prescribing medicines which are liable to abuse, misuse and overuse to people, on the basis of an online questionnaire. The pharmacists involved have also been referred for Fitness to Practise investigations.