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GPhC to crack down on ‘blatant disregard’ for FMD

The GPhC has stated that it will take action against pharmacies that openly ignore FMD compliance
The GPhC has stated that it will take action against pharmacies that openly ignore FMD compliance

The GPhC “will take action” if pharmacies are showing “blatant disregard” for FMD, the regulator’s director of inspection and fitness to practise Claire Bryce-Smith has said.

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is continuing to monitor the use of falsified medicines directive (FMD) equipment during its inspections and will take action against pharmacies flagrantly failing to comply with the legislation.

This is according to a statement made by Ms Bryce-Smith in a video addressing the annual Sigma conference in Cebu, the Philippines on Tuesday (February 18).

Although the number of pharmacies registered with UK verification system SecurMed has increased to “well over” 12,000, there is “quite a difference between the numbers that have got the equipment in place and those who are actually using [it] routinely,” she said.

The regulator will work with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to jointly “consider whether enforcement action should be taken” against pharmacies where FMD is not being used, Ms Bryce-Smith added. 

Pharmacies that show “absolutely no evidence” of implementing FMD, which includes registering to provide the service and train staff, will risk action being taken against them, she explained.

The future of FMD had looked uncertain following the UK’s departure from the European Union, as it is an EU anti-counterfeit medicine legislation.

However, Ms Bryce-Smith confirmed that the directive will remain in place during the transition period.

On Monday (February 17) British Generic Manufacturers Association director general Warwick Smith, also speaking at the Sigma conference, criticised FMD – saying it had reduced manufacturing capacity by 10%.

Is your pharmacy fully compliant with FMD legislation?

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

I hope they are interested in the blatant disregard for the health and safety of staff on some premises out there. Of course, they are not.

Angry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Can anyone go to these conferences in Cebu, the Philippines!! Not arranged in the Rhondda I see! 


Is there not a way of doing this remotely? By that I mean securemed/MHRA could run a report of all pharmacies not doing any or little decommissioning. If this is possible then they can deal with it without the need for the GPHC to waste their time during an inspection (which is stressful enough for a pharmacist without having to talk FMD nonsense).

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

SecurMed do indeed monitor for alerts that pop up, but the GPhC might not have access to that information

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

Any chance they could make the system not rubbish first?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I have to agree with Oliver, there are one or two solutions that are pretty easily done - generally the standalone where it's just a quick barcode scan 

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Not all of the systems are rubbish :)

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

Someone tell this idiot that we've left the EU, and the transition period has just over ten months to run. Then FMD is pointless.

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Given that the costs of maintaining the FMD system are paid for by the manufacturers, I don't think it is going to go away after the end of this year. It might even get more complicated and require decommissioning in order to get paid for dispensed scripts.

C A, Community pharmacist

I don't remember the manufacturers paying for any of the IT systems required in pharmacies... I must have missed that cheque.

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

One largish multiple that I did some shifts for did not expect to implement a system for FMD until early this year, maybe not even then, and they had provided a letter to show any inspector who came in!  The GPhC cannot take it out on the RP at the time as they cannot use a system that is not in place.

C A, Community pharmacist

As far as I know most multiples are trialing it in a small number of pharmacies, before "rolling it out across the whole estate", which puts them at a large advantage compared to independants.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

I have to echo your experience. There are many places I have visited where the barcode scanner is doing nothing but collecting dust in a forgotten corner of the dispensary.

Andrew Grierson, Locum pharmacist

Are Boots bothering yet? Only been legislation for (nearly) a year...

Benie I, Locum pharmacist

GPhC might treat Boots as a company with a little more warmth. The individual responsible pharmacist, however.............

Robert Mitchell, Community pharmacist

Out and about while locumming I've seen plenty of disregard for FMD. Some staff not even knowing what it is in many of the multiples. 
I would suggest they start there but I can imagine it'll be poor old Fred with his one shop which takes the flack.


Leon The Apothecary, Student

I concur with Robert here completely. No-one cares about FMD. Whatever is being done currently is nothing more than lip service, in my experience. Furthermore, no-one believes that the GPhC will take any action above a tepidly-worded recommendation.

A recommendation that, respectfully, in my humble opinion, is going to be blatantly disregarded.

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