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Rebalancing Board will discuss supervision at its next meeting

The government’s Rebalancing Board has announced that it will focus its next meeting on listening to the concerns of pharmacists about supervision of the sale and supply of pharmacy and prescription-only medicines.

ken-jarrold-chairman-government rebalancing board

Source: Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board

Rebalancing board chair Ken Jarrold said the Board recognised that supervision is of significant interest to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and everyone working in and using pharmacies

Supervision within pharmacies is expected to be discussed early next year, the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation and Pharmacy Regulation Programme Board has announced.

The Board, which reviews relevant pharmacy legislation and regulation, stated it had received an update on past board discussions on supervision at its most recent meeting, held on 23 October 2017. The board’s statement said it had “no firm proposals on this topic”, and it was agreed at the meeting that “further work was needed to listen to the concerns that have been raised”.

It added that “professional organisations have been asked to canvass for views and report back to the next Board meeting expected to be in February [2018]”.

The Rebalancing Board agreed at its latest meeting that it would release timely statements after each meeting to improve transparency.

The board’s chair, Ken Jarrold, said in a statement: “We have reflected on past discussions on supervision and I recognise that supervision is of significant interest to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and all those who work in and use pharmacies.

“I will continue to do my very best to take people with me, to allow every opportunity for discussion and to respect the views of everyone.”

The board also said a dispensing errors order for registered pharmacies was scheduled to be put before Parliament by Christmas. A public consultation is expected in early 2018 on dispensing errors for pharmacy professionals working in hospitals and other settings, and superintendent pharmacists and responsible pharmacists.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has also agreed to release a statement after each board meeting, and in its latest statement following the most recent meeting, RPS president Ash Soni said that decriminalisation of dispensing errors remains “a key priority for the RPS and we are working hard to make sure this happens”.

He added: “It’s important that all voices are heard by the government in the debate around supervision. We will be engaging with members across the three countries to listen to their thoughts to ensure that the RPS view is informed by as many members as possible.”

Soni called on the board to have regular meetings with stakeholders “to provide clarity about new proposals and share news”.

“There is real value in bringing people together more often to ensure there is an opportunity for two-way dialogue,” he said.

Soni added that the RPS looked forward to “the consultation on responsible pharmacists and superintendent pharmacists and will be working to help members respond to these.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203836

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