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Dispensing error chief responds to C+D with letter on delays

Ken Jarrold: Martin White's case is evidence our work is important

The head of the board tasked with “rebalancing” medicines legislation has replied to C+D's call for clarity on when dispensing errors will be decriminalised.

In his open letter, published on January 24, C+D editor James Waldron asked Ken Jarrold to disclose when he “realistically thinks the legal defence from inadvertent dispensing errors will be passed into law”.

You can read Mr Waldron’s letter here.

Mr Jarrold, who is chair of the board tasked by the government with "rebalancing medicines legislation and pharmacy regulation", responded with his own letter seven days later.

In it, Mr Jarrold explained that the board’s work to introduce a dispensing error defence “has been much delayed by factors outside [its] control”.

“In addition, there are very many stages in the processes that must be completed before we can secure the proposed changes to the law, and the stages are themselves subject to their own resource constraints,” he said.

C+D's editor used his letter to highlight that pharmacists’ fears of being criminally prosecuted for a dispensing error “have been brought to the fore once again by the case of [Northern Irish pharmacist] Martin White”.

In response, Mr Jarrold said: “The case of Martin White is evidence our work is important, and we will not abandon our task.”

“As you know, our overarching aim has been, and continues to be, to promote a more open culture of transparency and to encourage pharmacists and their teams to come forward and report mistakes – without the fear of being prosecuted.”

He pledged to update C+D “as soon as I have further information as to when [the change to the law] will be laid” before parliament.

Read Mr Jarrold’s letter in full here.

Are you concerned that dispensing errors have still not been decriminalised?

Jay Patel, Locum pharmacist

"open culture of transparency and to encourage pharmacists and their teams to come forward and report mistakes" - only a fool would report his/her's mistakes

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I don't share the view that dispensing errors should be decriminalised. Perhaps we will see improved medical practice if medical negligence is criminalised. Can one see the parallel?

Jon Smith, Allocation & Distribution

This is a non-story. Jarrold did not say when dispensing errors will be decriminalised - so where is the story here???

Dave Downham, Manager

That is the story - they haven't a scooby-doo.

Amal England, Public Relations

A typical politician's response.....yes is a maybe....maybe is a no....a no means he is not a politician. This issue is decades old, hence the data needed to make a decision is there; the legal algorithm is there..... The only thing that is not there is the commonsense and the money.... Maybe the board should take a pay cut as most of the work had been done before it's formation. Oh forgot he sounds like a politician. The government is able to get the right votes at the right time to bomb Iraq, based on a lie yet they appear clueless when the evidence and the professional opinion is literally screaming at them.

fatnose pansies, Sales

Pharmacist: "The attainment of targets has been much delayed by factors outside my control. Resource constraints, for example."

Employer: Dismissed.

Tom Kennedy, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

I think we'll all sleep more soundly at night once these criminals are behind bars.

Keep up the good work Ken Jarrold, the world needs more people like you.

Jatin Morjaria, Community pharmacist

Ha! Ha! Resources again!! Any excuse -Moral of the story- No one cares about the guy in the front line-Not surprising considering its not him taking the can!! Lol!

Jatin Morjaria, Community pharmacist

Ha ha


Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

After this response not in my life time then!

Dave Downham, Manager

Perhaps if he spent less time with weasel words and more on the task in hand? Is he a lawyer by any chance?

Presumably he's not remunerated under the payment by results scheme (unless he's a fudge salesman)

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

That's the mushroom farmer's response.

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

just got that ... lol 

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