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.