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PDA repeats call for CQC to regulate pharmacy premises

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PDA repeats call for CQC to regulate pharmacy premises

Mark Koziol, chair of the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, has repeated his union’s call for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to take over the regulation of community pharmacy premises. “Not only that, the business owners [also] need to be regulated”, he told MPs this week at an evidence session for the parliamentary pharmacy inquiry (January 16).

Mr Koziol explained to members of the Health and Social Care Committee (HSCC) that there was a unique situation in community pharmacy because of the employment of non-pharmacist area managers by some pharmacy groups. These were people in a “very substantial position of influence” in healthcare, he added.

“In other sectors – finance, for example – people in positions of influence are regulated by the regulator. Why does that not happen in community pharmacy? A classic case in point is where a pharmacist might decide not to sell a particular item to a patient because it is not safe. We have had situations where area managers have got involved, taken the thing off the shelf, sold it to the patient and said to the pharmacist, ‘If you ever do that again, you’re in trouble’.”

We have to regulate the people who operate pharmacy businesses and non-pharmacists in the healthcare space, Mr Koziol continued. “We believe the right place [for this] is the CQC and that the GPhC should concentrate on the people regulation.”

This approach to regulation would give both patients and the workforce more confidence in the system, he said. “We have often said to the GPhC that [its] position is quite overwhelming given the amount of stuff that goes on in community pharmacy.”

In earlier questioning by MPs, Mr Rudkin said there was an “entirely sensible debate” to be had around the question of whether other models of regulation might be more appropriate for pharmacy in the future, such as whether the business entities themselves should be regulated.

“The further away service design gets from being tied in a neat way to a particular building, the more strain it puts on a regulatory model that was designed in a different era,” he commented.


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