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Government’s Rebalancing Medicines Legislation & Pharmacy Regulation Programme - Consultation

Published: 12th February 2015

APTUK welcomes the launch of the Government’s Consultation into the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation & Pharmacy Regulation released today and sees the proposals as a positive step towards a modern approach to healthcare regulation.

The government is proposing a new defence against criminal prosecution for pharmacy professionals if they make an inadvertent dispensing error, subject to certain conditions.

APTUK recognises that the fear of criminal prosecution for a single dispensing error has long been a concern of pharmacists and now also for registered pharmacy technicians.  Removing this barrier will help encourage a more open approach to error  and near miss reporting and learning from these for the whole pharmacy team and ultimately patient safety.

Another proposal focuses on registered pharmacy premises and enabling an outcomes-led approach to the regulation of pharmacies, looking at the service to patients rather than measuring against narrow criteria.

Responding to the consultation launch, APTUK’s President, Tess Fenn, said

 ‘APTUK are committed to the Rebalancing Medicines Legislation & Pharmacy Regulation Programmeand toensuring that the views of Pharmacy Technicians are represented. The rebalancing programme is about ensuring there is the right balance between Government legislation and professional regulation.  Professional sanctions would be dealt with by the pharmacy regulators rather than by a criminal court. Pharmacy technicians, as regulated professionals, are important and integral to the pharmacy team, in optimising the use of medicines and supporting better health. This change will help pharmacy develop and expand its services to patients safely. We have been part of the UK wide Rebalancing Programme Board and have been providing information to our members as the programme progressed and are now pleased to support the consultation. To provide further information, support and to answer any questions that pharmacy technicians may have about what this means, we are planning specific APTUK events but are also delighted to be part of the professional events, alongside the RPS and GPhC. We look forward to seeing and talking to many pharmacy technicians about the proposals and consultation questions.'

 The professional events, being hosted by the RPS, are taking place as below. Follow the link to book your place:

We will be informing our members and pharmacy technicians of the APTUK events that will take place and urge all to be engaged with this important change to legislation.

We will be hosting WebEx discussions on the 9th March and 14th April and more details will follow on the website. So please keep these dates free so you can find out more and have your say.

Full details of the consultation as well as engagement activities for professionals, patients and members of the public can be found on