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APPG to discuss dispensing error laws with government

Practice MPs have called a meeting with the government to discuss the possibility of decriminalising dispensing errors and how to take “this crucial debate forward”, all-party pharmacy group chair Kevin Barron (pictured) announced last week.

MPs have called a meeting with the government to discuss decriminalising dispensing errors and how to take "this crucial debate forward", the all-party pharmacy group (APPG) announced on Friday (November 30).

Pharmacists "facing the prospect of imprisonment and a criminal record for making a simple mistake" had been "an issue for far too long", APPG chair Kevin Barron said as he announced the group would be holding a meeting in the new year.

The APPG will be inviting representatives from the Department of Health (DH), the MHRA and the Crown Prosecution Service.

"Now seems an opportune moment for the APPG to revisit this important issue" Kevin Barron, APPG

More on dispensing errors

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The APPG called the meeting following a statement from the UK chief pharmaceutical officers in October, in which they said they would be exploring, with professional and regulatory bodies, the "balance of medicines legislation", which would be closely linked to the MHRA's review on sanctions and penalties.

"Now seems an opportune moment for the APPG to revisit this important issue," Mr Barron added.

Section 64 of the Medicines Act makes it a criminal offence for a pharmacist or technician to dispense the wrong product to a patient, even in error. In 2009, locum Elizabeth Lee was convicted for handing over the wrong prescription, even though the error  was found not responsible for the patient's death.


Would you like to see dispensing errors decriminalised?

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