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PDA Union asks Society’s Council to reconsider its position over RP regulations

The PDA Union has written to the President of the Royal PharmaceuticalSociety asking that the Society’s Council reconsider its position overthe Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s call to delay the responsiblepharmacist regulations

The PDA Union has written to the President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society asking that the Society’s Council reconsider its position over the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s call to delay the responsible pharmacist regulations.

The Society said earlier this month that it would not support moves to delay the regulations.

The letter to the Society comes after the PDA Union executive studied the transcript of a debate held by the Society’s Council at which a call to delay the regulations was rejected by 18 votes to three. The PDA Union executive considered the debate to be ill informed.

John Murphy, general secretary of the PDA Union, said: "The transcript of the Council debate indicated that many members of Council voted against delaying the RP regulations because they felt that the RP regulations would in some way benefit patients during the swine flu pandemic. In fact, the evidence suggests that the opposite will apply."

Responsible pharmacist required for pharmacy to operate

He added that some Council members had incorrectly assumed that, under the new regulations, members of the public would be able to purchase GSL medicines from pharmacies even if the pharmacist was not well enough to be there.

"This assumption is entirely incorrect. In the event that there is no responsible pharmacist, the pharmacy could not operate," Mr Murphy said.

Another point raised during the debate was that, currently, pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy staff sometimes open pharmacies ahead of the pharmacist arriving for duty.

"We must not allow a practising environment which gives tacit acceptance to the philosophy that 'if we can get away with breaking the law now, why can’t we get away with it in future?'.

"The difference going forward is that once the RP regulations are enacted, the RP will be statutorily responsible for the safe and effective running of the pharmacy and we could not accept a position from the Society which had the effect of placing our members in legal jeopardy," the PDA Union’s letter states.

The PDA met with Department of Health officials last week to discuss the prospect of delaying the responsible pharmacist regulations and said that the DoH has undertaken to provide a response by early September.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10976368

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