Pharmacy Voice is seeking further assurances from the MHRA, following the Agency’s statement today on changes to the supply of medicines by pharmacies, which are expected to be enacted from July 2012.
Pharmacies that do not have a Wholesale Dealers Licence rely on section 10(7) - more widely known as the ‘5% rule’ - to make supplies to other pharmacies, GP surgeries, podiatrists, dentists, masters of ships, prisons and other clients. As part of the Medicines Act consolidation, this section of the medicines regulations will be removed. The MHRA says that it will allow most transactions to continue, even in the absence of an empowering clause within medicines regulations.
Rob Darracott, Pharmacy Voice chief executive, said:
"We have been in talks with the MHRA for many months, ever since it first proposed to remove the so called 5% rule which currently allows pharmacies to supply GP surgeries, prisons and a variety of other clients. We have said throughout that to guarantee continuity of care and avoid costly new medicines purchasing arrangements, small-scale transfers of medicines that benefit UK patients must be permitted to continue. MHRA has come a long way to address our concerns, but not far enough. We are still seeking cast-iron assurances that our members can continue patient-focused activities without the fear of prosecution.”
“This should not be an exercise in making things tidy for bureaucrats yet messy for pharmacists and the people we serve.”
The NPA is working on updated guidance to members on the supply of medicines to pharmacies and other healthcare providers. This will be available soon, and in the meantime members can call the NPA Information Department for further information on these changes.