Guidance to end criminalisation of dispensing errors

The Crown Prosecution Service is to publish guidance early next year that should prevent one-off dispensing errors being treated automatically as a criminal matter.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has been campaigning to change this inappropriate law for some time
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain has been campaigning to change this inappropriate law for some time

England's chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge has written to the All Party Pharmacy Group chairman, MP Dr Howard Stoate, confirming the plans.

In June this year, Healthcare Republic reported that an agreement had been reached to issue guidance until the Medicines Act could be reformed. Dr Stoate said at the time that it must be issued quickly, and ‘weeks or months must not be allowed to slip by'.

Concerns over the exisiting laws on dispensing errors were raised when a community pharmacist was given a suspended jail sentence for a single mistake, in a case which experts warned had implications for all health professionals.

President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain Steve Churton said: ‘The society has been campaigning to change this inappropriate law for some time and we are delighted to hear about this excellent outcome.'

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