Community pharmacy employers resume talks on future of supervision


The representative bodies of community pharmacy employers have set up a steering group to relaunch discussions around supervision.

But the organizations involved said they “are not considering remote supervision” and instead seek a greater “presence of the pharmacist in the pharmacy”.

Remote supervision faced severe backlash in 2017 after a government committee said it was “generally in favor, in principle” of proposals to allow pharmacy technicians to supervise community pharmacies in the absence of a pharmacist.

In a joint statement, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies, the Company Chemists ‘Association and the National Pharmacy Association said they have “formed an intersectoral group to discuss oversight related to the use of pharmacists’ clinical knowledge and skills.” .

“There is a broad consensus that some elements of supervision may need to be updated to reflect current and emerging pharmaceutical practice. We are not considering remote supervision.

“In fact, we want the presence of the pharmacist in the dispensary to become more, not less, visible to patients. Maintaining the essential role of the pharmacist in pharmacy is essential for us, as is maximizing the clinical skills and knowledge of pharmacists. We can all agree that patient safety is paramount, ”the statement read.

Representative bodies said they “recognize that it is vitally important for pharmacists to understand and have a voice in oversight, which is why we have welcomed the Pharmacists’ Defense Association (PDA) and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society at recent meetings ”.

The PDA has launched a survey among its members on the preferred composition of the steering group.

In a statement to Pharmaceutical journal On May 4, 2021, the PDA clarified that it was in talks with various pharmaceutical organizations, including the General Pharmaceutical Council and the three professional bodies, to “represent concerns expressed by PDA members” regarding oversight.

“Some of these meetings were initiated by the PDA, others by other organizations and, to this end, discussions on the creation of a ‘steering group’ to try to find a consensus and a way forward. are currently underway, ”the PDA said.

Mark Koziol, president of the PDA, said that the COVID-19 pandemic “has produced a unique opportunity for greater recognition of community pharmacy, but this must surely be based on the greater availability of the pharmacist”.

“We must not waste it fighting over a choice between two austere options. The first is a race to the bottom driven by a cost-cutting exercise, with no pharmacist present to maximize short-term profits.

“The other is a richer and more fulfilling role for pharmacists in community pharmacy – delivering health service benefits and a vastly improved patient journey. “

READ MORE: Everything you need to know about the supervision debate


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