Chief Pharmacy Officer at the GPhC confirms self-selection of P Medicines would not be compatible with its regulatory standards without key safeguards being in place.

Roz Gittins, Chief Pharmacy Officer at the GPhC, said:

“Our long-standing position on this has been that self-selection of P Medicines would not be compatible with our regulatory standards without key safeguards being in place. This includes ensuring continued compliance with the current legal requirement for pharmacist supervision, and assurance that any arrangements put in place secure patient and public safety.

“The GPhC recognises that in order to meet patient needs, those providing pharmacy services may need to innovate and develop new ways of working. As the regulator, we don’t seek to stifle innovation, but to make sure that registered pharmacies meet our standards, as well as any relevant legal requirements, whilst maintaining the safety of their services.

“We are aware of the renewed interest in this subject, and we will continue to monitor developments through our normal inspection activity.

“We have also developed an FAQ on facilitating self-selection of pharmacy medicines, which answers key questions, including about managing risks and about safeguards.

“Following the recent invitation to attend the RPS Board meeting on 19th June, we recognise that the language previously used for ‘self-selection’ such as ‘open display’ has not always been helpful, as it could be seen to suggest that the pharmacist and wider pharmacy team would not be involved in the selection and supply of P medicines to the person. We think the term ‘facilitated self-selection’ is more helpful, as it emphasises the crucial roles of the pharmacy team in facilitating the supply of the medicine to the person, and of the pharmacist in supervising the supply.  Subject to ongoing review and feedback, we therefore intend to use the term ‘facilitated self-selection’ going forward”.

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