Pharmacy makes a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of the public. Getting the right medicines, at the right time, in the right way, with the right information and advice, means that medicines can be used safely and in a way that works.
The way in which pharmacy care and services are
organised is changing. And pharmacy has the potential to make an even greater contribution to health and wellbeing than it has so far. This enhanced role – and the contribution to public health that pharmacy makes – goes far beyond dispensing medicines on prescription. This greater scope brings with it the potential for new risks. Whether medicines or medical devices are directly involved or not, the public is entitled to be properly protected, so that they can safely benefit from pharmacy
services in the way everyone wants.
This important consultation sets out our vision for the regulation of registered pharmacies, recognising that while protection of the public must always be
paramount, it is also incumbent upon us to ensure that our regulation does not hinder the development of practice by, for example, stifling innovation or the provision of enhanced services, which have the potential to bring significant benefits to patients.
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is still a new organisation, with new statutory powers, having taken on regulatory responsibilities for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and registered pharmacies across Great Britain in September 2010. We believe that the approach set out in the following pages builds on much of what we have done already; placing a focus on standards which describe the outcomes we want for patients and the public, and showing how we will be proportionate in
making decisions when our standards are not met.
What we are proposing is a new, modern approach to pharmacy regulation which is designed to make a positive contribution to patient safety. While the document has to cover a good deal of ground, we have tried to use language and to present the information in a way that makes clear our intentions to non professionals as well as registrants. We have included a glossary of terms to help with this. We are keen to hear your feedback on what we are proposing, how you think it can be improved and any further comments or suggestions.
Bob Nicholls CBE