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Draft legislation underpinning new pharmacy regulator published

Draft legislation underpinning the establishment of the GeneralPharmaceutical Council — which will form the new regulatory body forpharmacy in 2010 — has been published by the Department of Health

Draft legislation underpinning the establishment of the General Pharmaceutical Council — which will form the new regulatory body for pharmacy in 2010 — has been published by the Department of Health.

The draft Pharmacy Order 2009 details the powers and obligations that the GPhC will have in its capacity as the official regulator of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in England, Scotland and Wales.

According to the draft Order, the principal functions of the GPhC will be:

  • To establish and maintain a register of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy business premises
  • To establish and promote standards for the safe and effective practice of pharmacy
  • To establish and maintain requirements by reference to whichregistrants must demonstrate that their fitness to practise is notimpaired
  • To promote the safe and effective practice of pharmacy by registrants
  • To establish and promote standards and requirements in respect ofthe education, training, acquisition of experience and continuingprofessional development necessary for pharmacists and pharmacytechnicians to maintain competence
  • To ensure the continued fitness to practise of registrants

Under proposals in the draft Order, registrants will need to submit forannual review records that demonstrate their compliance with CPDrequirements.

Power may be allocated to the new regulatory body toremove from the register persons who do not comply with CPDrequirements or conditions, or who make a false declaration about theircompliance.

Fitness-to-practise regulations detailed in the draft Order include arequirement for five years to elapse between the removal of a person’sname from the register by the fitness to practise committee, and anapplication to have the name restored.

Consultation has opened

A formal consultation on the draft Order has begun and arrangements are under way for a series of consultation events to be held, details of which will be available from the NHS Primary Care Contracting website.

The consultation will close on 9 March 2009.

Wendy Harris, deputy registrar and director of regulation at the RoyalPharmaceutical Society, said: “This consultation provides aonce-in-a-lifetime opportunity for pharmacists, pharmacy techniciansand other stakeholders to play a part in shaping the new pharmacyregulator, ensuring that it is fit for the future regulation ofpharmacy and is capable of identifying and responding to change.”

President of the Society Steve Churton stressed the influence thatregulation has on patient safety, and encouraged members to respond tothe consultation.

“It is important to ensure that the new regulator forpharmacy demonstrates, through proportionate and supportive regulation,appropriate safeguards for the interests of patients and the public,”he said.

Following consultation and any necessary amendments, the Order will be laid before UK and Scottish Parliament for approval by affirmative resolution before its introduction as legislation. Establishment of the GPhC, originally scheduled for 1 January 2010, has been put back by the delayed publication of the draft Order — which was expected in September 2008.

The GPhC is now projected to commence its regulatory role in the second quarter of 2010.


See also New pharmacy regulator takes shape 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10041720

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  • Department of Health document entitled 'creating and new professional regulator for pharmacy'

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