Updated guidance for pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has published updated guidance for pharmacies providing pharmacy services at a distance today. The new guidance is aimed at pharmacy owners to help make sure that people can only obtain medicines from online pharmacies that are safe and clinically appropriate for them. 

The RPS have also published Providing medicines online which compliments the GPhC guidance and provides a checklist of activities you must fulfil. It also lists 10 key questions you should be able to answer before supplying online.

Commenting on the regulator's new guidelines, RPS President Ash Soni said:

“The RPS welcome this updated guidance from GPhC to improve the protection of patients seeking medicines at a distance, including online.

“We are particularly pleased to see that the requirement for additional safeguards for certain categories of prescription only medicines - which include antibiotics, medicines liable for abuse and medicines that require ongoing monitoring or management - have been strengthened in the guidance document.  Patient safety in relation to medicines is central to any pharmaceutical service.

Furthermore, we welcome the fact that the GPhC has addressed our long held concerns that some websites have enabled patients to select which medicines they want rather than taking a consultation-based approach. An online consultation should meet the same standards as a face-to-face consultation.”