Three pharmacists working for online pharmacies have been hit with warnings by the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) investigating committee, according to determinations published last month.

C+D reported that on May 20, the committee considered the cases of Harkirit Kaur Mudhar, registration number 2203538, Sarfraz Patel, registration number 2071654, and Rabia Shaikh, registration number 2068839.

The GPhC found that all three had breached numerous GPhC standards by improperly prescribing or dispensing prescription-only medication (POMS) or controlled drugs (CDs) using online questionnaires.

It decided to issue each of them a warning to remain on its register for 12 months, adding that “further regulatory action” would follow future “similar conduct”.

It warned all three that they must ensure any online pharmacy they work at in the future has “robust systems” to protect patients.

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UK Fitness to Practise News

Last month, the GPhC issued a firm statement in response to the release of “best practice” guidance by the Digital Clinical Excellence (DiCE) UK Forum for online consultations that use assessment questionnaires, a practice also known as “asynchronous prescribing”.

The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) warned that pharmacists who use the new guidance to prescribe the new wave of semaglutide-based weight loss drugs like Wegovy are at “risk of possible regulatory action”.

It said at the time that an “expert report” commissioned by the GPhC conflicts with the “industry-led” DiCE guidance.

The GPhC warned that the only statutory standards” that healthcare professionals should follow are those produced by the UK’s health regulators or from statutory bodies such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

And it said that the GPhC is updating its guidance on “working in online settings” to provide “more clarity”.

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