Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Rebalancing medicines legislation programme going at snail’s pace

The snail-like progress of the rebalancing medicines legislation programme continues to amaze me.

In June 2014, an expert report on the programme’s impact on hospital pharmacy was completed but only uploaded onto the programme website in November 2016. It contains some radical but eminently sensible recommendations, notably ruling out the need for hospital pharmacy departments to be registered and amending the law to introduce a new statutory role of hospital chief pharmacist, which mirrors the requirements for a superintendent pharmacist.

Furthermore — and music to my ears — the report goes on to recommend a knowledge, skills and competencies framework for the “pivotal role” of the chief pharmacist. I have not yet seen any analysis of this report in the pharmacy press but, if accepted, this surely strengthens the case for similar competencies for the equally pivotal role of the superintendent pharmacist — something I have pressed for over at least two decades.

The sting in the tail lies in the last recommendation. The hospital expert group want assurances from all the relevant regulators that hospital departments will not have to be registered before any more progress is made on legislation to provide defences for inadvertent dispensing errors occurring in community pharmacies which, of course, do have to be registered. Otherwise hospital pharmacy departments might be caught, too.

One can only be impressed by the ingenuity with which further delays have been introduced into the rebalancing programme. The draft legislation providing defences for dispensing errors was published in February 2015. The programme itself began in 2013. So much for priority and urgency.

Joy Wingfield

Honorary professor of pharmacy law and ethics

University of Nottingham

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202184

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.