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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Insufficient information to enable an informed decision about treatment and about how to raise concerns.

Pharmacy type

Internet / Distance Selling

Pharmacy context

This is a pharmacy which offers its services to people through its website. The pharmacy has a prescribing service provided by doctors based in mainland Europe. The website offers prescription medicines for a range of conditions but mainly supplies medicines for the treatment of pain and sleeping tablets. It is a private pharmacy and does not supply NHS prescriptions. People do not visit the pharmacy in person and medication is sent by post, or delivered by a courier.

Relevant standards

  • 1.1 - The risks associated with providing pharmacy services are identified and managed
  • 1.5 - Appropriate indemnity or insurance arrangements are in place for the pharmacy services provided
  • 1.8 - Children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded
  • 4.2 - Pharmacy services are managed and delivered safely and effectively

Why this is poor practice

There is insufficient information for the public about the prescribing service to make an informed decision, or raise concerns about the quality of the service.

What the shortcomings are

The name of the responsible pharmacist (RP) was displayed in the pharmacy but was not displayed on the pharmacy's website. The website did not clearly identify the prescribers, and in the terms and conditions referred to 'UK prescribers', which was misleading as none of the current prescribers were from the UK. There was very limited information about the prescribers on the website. The name of the prescribers, their address, their registration number and the country of registration were not made clear on the website. There was no information available about the indemnity arrangements for the prescribers. This means people using the pharmacy might not know who the RP was or have enough information about the service to make an informed decision, or raise concerns about the quality of the service. The pharmacy website was arranged so that the patient chose the POM and the quantity before filling in the consultation questions. This means people may not always receive the most suitable medicines for their needs.

What improvements are required

The pharmacy should provide sufficient information on the website about the accountability for the service to enable members of the public to make an informed decision about using the pharmacy and to enable them to easily raise concerns about the quaity of services.

Highlighted standards

We have identified the standards most likely and least likely to be met in inspections, and highlighted examples of notable practice for each of these standards; to help everyone learn from others and to support continuous improvement:

  1. 1.1 Risk management
  2. 1.2 Reviewing and monitoring the safety of services
  3. 4.2 Safe and effective service delivery
  4. 4.3 Sourcing and safe, secure management of medicines and devices
  5. 2.2 Staff skills and qualifications