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Boots, Well, Rowlands and Superdrug yet to completely roll out FMD

Not all Boots, Well, Rowlands and Superdrug pharmacies are compliant with the EU’s medicines scanning law more than a month after the deadline, C+D has learned.

Boots said it has introduced a “standalone solution” into “some” of its pharmacies to comply with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) – which requires all pharmacies to be able to scan barcodes on packaging and “decommission” medicines against a UK safety database at the point of dispensing and came into force on February 9.

However, “following early delays of clarity in requirements and uncertainty due to Brexit”, it has not rolled this out to all its branches, Boots told C+D last week (March 20).

The pharmacies currently complying with the FMD are providing it with “valuable operational learnings”, Boots added.

It is also rolling out a new pharmacy management and record system “at pace” to “the majority” of its 2,485 pharmacies, which has an “integrated FMD solution”, the multiple pointed out.

Rowlands: 16 branches decommissioning medicines

Meanwhile, only 16 Rowlands pharmacies are currently connected to SecurMed – the non-profit organisation that manages the UK’s FMD medicines verification systems – and are scanning and decommissioning medicines, the multiple told C+D.

The rest of its more than 500 branches are registered and have the necessary hardware and software, but will begin decommissioning medicines in a “phased manner”, following the rollout of “robust training and support”, Rowlands added.

Despite not having many medicines to scan or decommission, “the first month has gone well with a few glitches that were sorted out”, it told C+D.

Well “working towards” compliance

Well Pharmacy’s change operations manager Matthew Gabbitas said the multiple is “working towards” all its 780 pharmacies being FMD compliant with the rollout of its new PMR system by the start of 2020.

“Testing is going well and we’re learning and refining the process as we go,” he added.

Superdrug: “A number” of compliant pharmacies

Superdrug said it has only installed an integrated FMD solution “in a number” of its 200 pharmacies.

However, “all our pharmacies have received FMD training and appropriate standard operating procedures”, it added.

“We have been scanning stock in the majority of our pharmacies since 2017, so the workflow supports the FMD,” it added.

Last week, C+D reported that just two Lloydspharmacies were compliant with the FMD following IT issues at the multiple.

Last month, the General Pharmaceutical Council said the February 9 deadline was “not a cliff edge”, and if during an inspection a pharmacy is found not to be compliant, it “would be looking to understand the reasons why and seeking evidence that there was a clear plan in place”.

How did the first month of the FMD go for your pharmacy?

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