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Professional regulation

British pharmacy regulator agrees to share information with other regulators

The professional regulator for pharmacists in Great Britain, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), has signed four memoranda of understanding (MoU) with other statutory organisations in England and plans to sign similar agreements in Scotland and Wales.

Each organisation will share information about inspections and investigations, as well as the outcomes of those investigations, under the series of agreements between the Care Quality Commission, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, NHS England and NHS Protect.

Although each memoranda differs slightly they all include a commitment to sharing information to protect patients and employ a “collect once use many times” approach to information needed to regulate.

UK health minister Lord Howe said the MoUs would reduce time spent on bureaucracy, freeing pharmacists to spend more time with patients and on clinical services.

GPhC chief executive Duncan Rudkin said the agreements “will enable us to protect patients in a way which keeps burdens on pharmacy businesses to a minimum, by freeing them from unnecessary bureaucracy and allowing them to focus on delivering high quality services.”

England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge described the MoU agreed with NHS England as “a significant step forward in developing a robust relationship” with the regulator.

The MoUs will be updated and evaluated annually. Similar MoUs are being developed with the UK Home Office drugs licensing and compliance unit, Health Education England and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, according to the GPhC.  

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138348

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