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General Pharmaceutical Council 

GPhC standards for pharmacy professionals come into force on 12 May 2017


Source: GPhC

The new GPhC standards have been reduced from 57 to 9 and are all centred on providing safe and effective care, says Duncan Rudkin, chief executive

The General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) new standards for pharmacy professionals will come into effect on 12 May 2017.

The 2017 standards, which have been reduced significantly from 57 to 9, are all centred on providing safe and effective care, according to Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC. Each standard is accompanied by detailed examples of how they apply to “pharmacy professionals” in practice.

Among the other changes to the standards this year is a tweak to the wording on personal values and beliefs that will require pharmacists to ensure their beliefs do not compromise patient-centred care, also formerly known as the ‘conscience’ clause. The move follows responses to a GPhC consultation that closed in March 2017. The change had previously triggered outrage from Christian and Muslim groups who claimed it could jeopardise the identity of pharmacists and affect their ability to comfortably exercise professional judgement.

The new standards have also retained wording which led to a High Court challenge by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) on 23 March 2017, where the GPhC asks that the standards are “met at all times, not only during working hours”. In April 2017, the High Court rejected the request for a judicial review saying that the PDA had interpreted the standards incorrectly.

Rudkin has encouraged pharmacy professionals to “read and reflect on the new standards now” in preparation for the 12 May 2017.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202713

Readers' comments (2)

  • Would have been useful to have a link to actually see the standards and not just advise to " read and reflect on the new standards now"
    As a busy community pharmacist when one only has a bit of time during the lunch break to actually look at such information that would be the logical thing to do.We are not sitting in offices put actually working 10 hour shifts in the pharmacy!

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  • 1. Pharmacy was originally recognized as a profession when we were given the responsibility to police the sale and use of Arsenic, in order to reduce the rash of husband-poisoning by abused wives. Does this now mean we should sell arsenic to such women?
    2. Any pharmacist knows that some OTC addicts will trawl through pharmacies to find one that does not care whether a patient is addicted or not, and will sell them any codeine-containing medication - no questions asked. Should we all join in, as that is what the customer wants?

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