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Boots and Lloydspharmacy will both miss next week's FMD deadline

Some Boots and Lloydspharmacy branches will be FMD compliant by February 9
Some Boots and Lloydspharmacy branches will be FMD compliant by February 9

The "majority" of Boots branches and some Lloydspharmacies will not be compliant with the EU’s medicines scanning law when it comes into force next week.

Boots said it is “continuing [its] journey” to comply with the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) – which will require all pharmacies to be able to scan barcodes on medicines packaging at the point of dispensing from February 9.

However, its rollout has been hindered by “early delays of clarity in requirements and uncertainty due to Brexit”, it told C+D last week (January 25).

A “standalone solution” will be introduced to “some stores” in February, with “the majority” of its pharmacies implementing the FMD later, as part of a new pharmacy management and record system, which will have an “integrated FMD solution”, the multiple said.

“This will bring additional patient safety checks, as well as FMD compliance,” it added.

Boots did not say when the system would go live.

Lloydspharmacy informs GPhC

Lloydspharmacy said it has a “robust rollout plan” in place. However, it has “advised the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) that not all our stores will be compliant by February 9”.

Lloydspharmacy has been working with suppliers to “find a solution that is right for both our business and colleagues” and FMD equipment is being delivered to its branches, it added. Feedback from its pharmacies which have participated in its FMD pilot will inform the multiple’s plans.

“We want to make absolutely sure that our teams are comfortable before the system goes live…and before we introduce additional steps in their already busy day,” Lloydspharmacy said.

Almost two thirds (64%) of contractors who responded to C+D’s 2018 Salary Survey in October – most of whom were based in England – said they were unprepared for the FMD.

Rowlands has also confirmed not all of its branches will be live with the FMD by the February 9 deadline.

Is your pharmacy prepared for the FMD?

cardiff pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Does anyone know where Dispensing Doctors and GP practices are in regard to the both also have to implement!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

DDA is basically telling GP practices to not do anything until funding is sorted out, i.e. so they don't have to pay a penny, unlike pharmacies.

Adam Smith, Senior Management

I believe it isn't really their problem as they are not paying for it. Unlike Community Pharmacy their IT is provided by NHS Digital contracts. I suspect EMIS, TPP, Vision etc will provide functionality unless NHS Digital does a deal with a stand alone provider across the board. 

Sunil Patel, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

All of this bureaucracy will only take valuable time away from patient care. 

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

Bit ironic as its AAH and Aliance who want FMD as a tool to make shortliners less competative

Lucky Ex-Boots Slave, Primary care pharmacist

Another law-breaking move from these multiples, and YET AGAIN GPhC will most likely turn a blind eye on. Can someone tell me when was the last time they comply with the working time regulations to give pharmacists a proper, uninterrupted 20 mins break when they work more than 6 hrs a day? Look at the locum agencies shifts - they even advertise numerous shifts as 'No Break' and yet still these multiples never get into trouble! 

P Rimps, Product Development

FMD was published almost 3 years ago, Securmed started registrations early in 2018. How can you not be prepared with the amount of resources these big chains have - its laughable!

Interesting to see Lloyds, Boots and Rowlands mentioned on this article and it would be even more interesting to see the response smaller independant pharmacies would get. Poor preparation and management is no excuse for not being compliant and putting potential risk to patients just because pharmacies dont want to commit to spending a few hundred pounds on scanners.

FMD is a pain in the backside for all stakeholders involved, it maybe delayed but it will come into effect eventually!!!

C A, Community pharmacist

Weirdly Well aren't mentioned despite being in the same boat as Boots/Lloyds

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

No deal Brexit is going to save us from this nonsense.

Honest- Pharmacist, Community pharmacist


Ohhhh I get it, when you work for lloyds/boots and miss a deadline you get harassed, named and shamed, highlighted on communications for everyone to see but when the company misses a deadline its like oh well what time is only fools and horses on? 


Kirit Shah, Community pharmacist

I think all we have to comply with is be able to say we are in the process of implementing this requirement if I am not mistaken!Most of the manufacturers have not even been sending out the new products yet and it is likely to take months.And we might crash out of EU with No DEAL!



C A, Community pharmacist

"All we gave to comply with isbe able to say we are in the process of implementing"

That is correct, from my understanding

Sam Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

I recommend pharmscanner. Easy to use, idiot proof scanning and this week so far only found 4 products with barcodes and none had logged with database. Don’t know why I’m wasting my time scanning when the manufacturers aren’t uploading data to central database 

There won’t be any fmd compliant packs to scan for a quite a while. The packs at the moment with 2d barcodes are not even tamper proof in most cases so won’t be on the database

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Absolutely right; even if it has a 2D code, if its not got an anti-tamper device then its not FMD-ready and you shouldn't scan it.

Steven Ash, Pharmacy technician

Can someone please tell me why this FMD scannig of stock cannot be done at the wholesale/supplier point of contact? surley this would make more sense? 

Kyle Cromey, Community pharmacist

The idea is that it is a complete audit trail from manufacture to end user, with a log at every stage to prevent counterfeit medicines getting into the system at any point etc. Although this (in my understanding) is more of a problem on the continent, but it is an EU legislation and we must comply.

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

The point of FMD is supposed to be that each link in the supply chain can scan a pack to check if it is authentic or not; or as a pharmacy, that you can be assured that the medicines you're receiving aren't counterfeit. Unfortunately, many packs will be out of scope come February 9th, leaving us in an unfortunate situation where the system cannot be used for its intended purpose.

I asked a guy from securmed about this at a recent meeting. They said wholesalers will be scanning as well but the medicine needs to be decommissioned at the point it is supplied to the end user e.g. patient or hospital. I'm not sure how this helps stop falsified medicines getting into the supply chain but that's what I was told. 

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

I know what you mean - it doesn't give any assurance to the patient that the medicine is legitimate. It could help to prevent counterfeit medicines entering community pharmacies, but I'm not sure if this is a problem at present or not, but in any case it won't work properly for the time being.

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

I don't understand *how* they could miss the deadline (FMD isn't that difficult to get in place, and there really isn't that much to it) but I can perfectly understand *why* they would miss it (who wants to pay for something that they don't want, and might not have to?)

Objectively speaking, I would find it difficult to say anything positive about FMD. If you are interested in getting something in place by the deadline (for free) then please feel free to try out our system, PharmScanner (

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

GPhC will not be taking any action.  I asked last week who would be liable for non-compliance out of the contractor or the responsible pharmacist and they could, or would, not give a straight answer!

Oliver Staunton, Information Technology

Presumably it would be the contractor who is reponsible for having systems, SOPs, training etc in place. 

Joan Richardson, Locum pharmacist

If you sign in as RP you are responsible for ensuring the safe and effective running of the pharmacy - no FMD then cannot ensure that the medicines are genuine so technically you should not be signing in as RP!  All I wanted from the GPhC was clarity and I was told that "they draw up the regulations and enforce them but are unable to answer my question".  Chocolate teapot was the phrase that came to mind!

C A, Community pharmacist

Try getting the GPhC to say that and see what happens!

A LOCUM, Community pharmacist

wheel out the guillotine , heads will be rolling down the high street

John Cleese, Production & Technical

Hardly surprising and can't blame them. I expect we'll all get it implemented - just before we crash out of the EU and lose our access to the FMD database.

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