The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has seen a “significant number” of fitness-to-practise concerns involving online pharmacies.

C+D reported that since April 2019, 1,040 fitness-to-practise concerns have been raised with the regulator concerning pharmacy professionals who were or are working in online pharmacies, Ms Bryce-Smith revealed during her address at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress in London on Friday (May 13).

Of these, 187 cases remain open, which are linked to 83 online pharmacies and involve 84 registrants.  The number of open cases against online pharmacies is “quite high” Ms Bryce-Smith commented.”

Speaking of the “higher risk” themes that emerged following the regulator’s inspections of online pharmacies, Ms Bryce-Smith revealed there were “quite a number of clinically inexperienced independent pharmacist prescribers operating in that online pharmacy sector” C+D reported.

“When you combine that with poor risk management [and] very weak clinical governance, you’ve got a little bit of a recipe for disaster,” she added.

While pharmacy “is experiencing a fast pace of change” and “there’s nothing wrong with that”, the GPhC must ensure that that is “well managed”, she told delegates.

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