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Allow all pharmacy staff to prepare and assemble medication without supervision, says Community Pharmacy Scotland

Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) is calling for all pharmacy staff to be allowed to prepare and assemble medication without requiring supervision from a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Its comments came in its response to a Department of Health and Social Care consultation on pharmacy supervision, published on 7 December 2023, which sets out proposals to amend the Medicines Act 1968 and The Human Medicines Regulations 2012.

The consultation includes proposals to enable pharmacists to authorise pharmacy technicians to carry out, or supervise others carrying out, the preparation, assembly, dispensing, sale and supply of medicine; to enable pharmacists to authorise any member of the pharmacy team to hand out checked and bagged prescriptions in the absence of a pharmacist; and to allow pharmacy technicians to supervise the preparation, assembly and dispensing of medicines in hospital aseptic facilities

In its response, the CPS disagreed with the first of these proposals, arguing that “the preparation and assembly of [pharmacy] and [prescription-only] medications can be safely carried out from a registered pharmacy premises, without requiring supervision by a Responsible Pharmacist or an authorised pharmacy technician”.

CPS also said there is “a major flaw in the logic” of the government proposal because “it relies heavily on individuals rather than on safe systems”, making the proposed new way of working “vulnerable to changes in personal circumstance”.

“The environment, technology, training, conditions and [standard operating procedures] in the community pharmacy setting have a bigger effect on safety of preparation and assembly than supervision by an individual,” the response said.

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Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 February 2024


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