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

BPC 2009: UK is European leader in reclassification of drugs

by Benedict Lam

Benedict Lam reports on the importance of pharmacists in reclassifying drugs, during BPC 2009


Pharmacists are key players in the reclassification process, said Colette McCreedy, specialist in self-medication at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

She said that, since the publication of the NHS plan in 2000, many NHS policy documents have made reference to making more medicines available without prescription and empowering people to look after themselves.

Also, the pharmacy White Paper in England and pharmacy policy documents in the other UK countries envisage a greater role for pharmacists in self-care, public health and screening, and all of these can be supported by POM-to-P reclassification.

Mrs McCreedy emphasised that the ability of pharmacists to deliver the rigorous type of supervision and professional intervention required to supply medicines safely and effectively without prescription — whether the supply is made by a pharmacist or by members of the pharmacy team — is a key factor in deciding whether a medicine is suitable for reclassification. This, she said, has contributed to the increasing range of medicines that we see in pharmacies today.

Mrs McCreedy believes that the UK is the European (if not world) leader in reclassification of medicines, citing the recent reclassification of azithromycin for the treatment of chlamydia as an example. Medicines that have been reclassified at EU level, such as orlistat, are also emerging. These medicines become available at the same time in all 27 member states.

Mrs McCreedy believes that the UK has an advantage with regards to reclassification because UK legislation allows the MHRA to put in place safeguards that ensure safe sales and supplies involving pharmacists. Many member states do not have the leglislative framework to do this, she added.

However, Mrs McCreedy said that with this ground-breaking work comes the need to continuously monitor safety in use, such as using the yellow card reporting system.

Moreover, pharmacists can help by supporting risk minimisation measures that the MHRA puts in place when safety in use or misuse is discovered, Mrs McCreedy said.

For example, pharmacy controls have ensured those who seek to buy pseudoephedrine from pharmacies for the illicit manufacture of crystal methamphetamine have not succeeded.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10982832

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

  • Drugs of Abuse

    Drugs of Abuse

    A concise, easy-to-read guide for healthcare professionals who encounter drug abuse.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver

    Drugs and the Liver assists practitioners in making pragmatic choices for their patients. It enables you to assess liver function and covers the principles of drug use in liver disease.

    £38.00Buy now
  • Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons

    Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons

    Clarke's Analysis of Drugs and Poisons is the definitive reference source of analytical data for drugs and poisons.

    £535.00Buy now
  • Injectable Drugs Guide

    Injectable Drugs Guide

    A user friendly, single point of reference for healthcare professionals in the safe and effective administration of injectable medicines.

    £54.00Buy now

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.