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Welsh hospital pharmacy sector prepares for the Falsified Medicines Directive

An event in Wales has allowed pharmacists and other interested parties the opportunity to learn about the Falsified Medicines Directive, in advance of its implementation in February 2019.

Medicine pack with FMD unique identifier and anti tampering device

Source: Jonathan Buisson

From February 2019, medicines packaging will feature a unique 2D barcode, in line with the Falsified Medicines Directive

Representatives from hospital pharmacy teams across Wales attended a workshop on the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) at RPS Wales’ offices in Cardiff, on 6 March 2018. Cheryl Way, national pharmacy and medicines management lead at NHS Wales Informatics Service and RPS Wales pharmacy board member, organised the event alongside Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales

The day was intended to brief hospital pharmacy staff on the requirements of FMD, and to show how technology could help support its implementation in secondary care. Several FMD-specific areas were discussed, including the recycling of split packs, how to manage stock received before February 2019 (which will not feature 2D barcodes and anti-tamper devices), how to prescribe medicines with an EU (but not a UK) licence, and the wholesaler decommissioning process.

The event featured speakers from the Department of Health and Social Care, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and Oxford University Hospital Trust. It was attended by representatives from health boards from across Wales, NHS Wales Informatics Service, and the suppliers of automated pharmacy systems.

During the workshop, Way said, attendees worked together to map out how FMD could fit into existing hospital processes — considering, for example, how hospitals with and without robots would manage the requirements. One group, Way said, focused on mapping FMD in an aseptic unit.

Speaking after the event, Evans told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it was “imperative that work is done now to decide how practice must change to accommodate the requirements of the FMD.

“Bringing pharmacy teams together from every part of Wales, alongside pharmacy system and automation providers, the MHRA, representatives of SecurMed and NHS trusts that have already given detailed consideration to their approach, was an important first step towards ensuring the NHS in Wales is fully prepared for FMD,” he said.

The FMD comes into force across the UK on 9 February 2019. For more information, see The Pharmaceutical Journal’s special report:

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20204591

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