Pharmacists raise safety concerns about dispensing doctors

The regulatory body for pharmacists has raised patient safety concerns about dispensing doctors in its response to the pharmacy White Paper.

Photograph:Haymarket Medical/Mike Alsford
Photograph:Haymarket Medical/Mike Alsford

The English Pharmacy Board (EPB) of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) says: ‘The principal issues for the EPB concerning dispensing surgeries are patient safety, and the quality of medicines services.

‘Dispensing practice in pharmacies is currently inspected and regulated by the RPSGB, dispensing in surgeries does not have the same degree of regulatory oversight.

‘The EPB accepts the need for some patients to have access to dispensing services through their GP surgeries where they are otherwise unable to access a community pharmacy.

‘However all standards that apply to dispensing in pharmacies need also to be applied to dispensing surgeries.’

Dr David Baker, chief executive of the Dispensing Doctors' Association, said: 'Dispensing doctors offer a service that is safe, efficient, cost-effective and hugely appreciated by their patients. We want to work with pharmacists, but this response by the EPB will not make it any easier.'

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