3. Underpinning Knowledge - Legislation and Professional Issues

Amendments to the Poisons Act 1972 have changed how poisons and some chemicals are classified and regulated. These require pharmacies to report suspicious transactions, significant stock loss and theft to the local police (dial 101) or the anti-terrorism hotline (dial 0800 789321). There is also a requirement for the public to present a valid licence issued by the Home Office before being able to purchase the most dangerous poisons or chemicals which could be used as explosive precursors. Where a licence is required, pharmacy teams will need to check that the licence is valid, unaltered and matches the request. Transaction details must be added to the licence, substances must be suitably labelled and regulated poisons require additional record keeping in a poisons register. Where licences are not required, the pharmacist should consider whether requests are suspicious and whether commercial alternatives or commercial retailers are appropriate to refer to.