The CCA has today (21 August) responded to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s discussion paper on making sure patients and the public obtain medicines and other pharmacy services safely online.
Overall, we feel the discussion paper does not clearly distinguish between online pharmacy and online prescribing services. These services are not always integrated, yet the terms are used almost interchangeably in the document. We feel the paper does not reflect the mix of business models now in existence, the inter-relationships between these services and the inevitable mix of regulatory frameworks this encompasses.
We believe that some of the proposals contained within this guidance sit more appropriately within the remit of other regulators, in particular as it appears that most of the areas of concern, and the subsequent proposals for changes to guidance, are related to online prescribing services rather than online pharmacy services.
We have also highlighted a few specific concerns with the proposals around pharmacy responsibility for identity checking, as we believe any expectations that identity is verified to ensure medicines are appropriate for a patient should sit with the prescriber, not the pharmacy.