The joint appeal from the PDA and NPA was issued “in light of growing concerns about a relaxation of pharmacist supervision of medicines supply.” NPA chairman Ian Strachan said the adoption of a patient safety pledge “could go a long way to addressing people’s fears.”
The organisations are calling upon members of the board not to present their pharmacy supervision proposals to health secretary Jeremy Hunt until there is evidence that proposed changes to supervision will not harm patients, and there is a “clear view” among key stakeholders about the way to proceed.
The NPA/PDA joint statement reads: “We will present our proposals on pharmacy supervision to the Secretary of State for Health only when the following circumstances prevail:
The NPA’s Ian Strachan said: “The consequences of making the wrong policy choices would be grave for the patients that pharmacies serve. By adopting this pledge, the Board could go a long way to addressing people’s fears. It ought to be very easy and uncontroversial to give a basic assurance on patient safety, and we hope all members of the Board will feel able to do this.”
Pharmacists’ Defence Association chairman Mark Koziol said: “Undoubtedly the rules on supervision need updating but the purpose of these changes must be to build upon community pharmacy’s pivotal role as the place where the public can have access to a pharmacist at any time they require.
“Any changes must make the pharmacist more available to the public in the community pharmacy setting and not less so. Within this vision, pharmacists can enjoy an enhanced professional role and the ability to further develop their clinical relationship with patients.”