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DiCE responds to PDA concerns over online prescribing guidance

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DiCE responds to PDA concerns over online prescribing guidance


The Digital Clinical Excellence Forum (DiCE UK) has responded to concerns from the Pharmacists’ Defence Association which says it cannot support DiCE best practice guidance for the online prescribing of GLP-1 receptor antagonists for weight management.

It has refuted claims that in some online consultations, prospective patients can select the medicine they want at the start, making the interaction more of a commercial transaction rather than a professional clinical consultation.

“The providers interacting in the DiCE Forum would strongly refute that their service was unprofessional or solely commercially driven. They are responding to the established public demand and the benefits of digitally enabled care. All DiCE participants work within the GPhC guidelines where patients cannot choose a medication before a consultation commences,” the organisation says.

The DiCE network was set up in March 2019 to support the growing community of digital healthcare providers within primary care, and to set standards for quality, safety and good practice.

To the claim that on some systems, patients can subsequently alter the answers they provide to a questionnaire resulting in them being able to obtain a medicine when supply was previously declined, DiCE says it has not been developed to challenge or police fraudulent activities by those aiming to manipulate a system. “It does, however, through its best practice guides, aim to reduce the risk of this activity, which occurs throughout healthcare services.”

DiCE says it supports the PDA’s call for the GPhC to issue unambiguous guidance about its expectations of prescribers who use questionnaire-based/asynchronous models to provide online prescribing services.

DiCE says it has created a unique quality assurance approach for independent digital healthcare providers in the UK. A newly launched DiCE registered trademark aims to provide further digital trust for the public and healthcare.

“It will help the public to identify fraudulent and illegal suppliers of online drugs in particular,” DiCE says.

The DiCE Forum is also developing Best Practice Guides to support areas of care where there is high demand for digital services. These guides are aimed to be complimentary to existing standards set by professional bodies and statutory standards set by healthcare regulators.

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