From February 9, 2019, every pharmacy in the UK will be required to scan barcodes to 'decommision' medicines and verify they are genuine under EU anti-counterfeiting legislation the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD).
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has not published specific calculations of the cost of the legislation to community pharmacies, but its impact assessment estimates that “healthcare institutions” that will have to decommission medicines themselves – rather than have the process done for them by a wholesaler – “will require two to three scanners…[at] a cost of £1,300 per scanner, which includes software”.
“We assume [scanners] will be replaced every five years,” it added.
NPA: “Hard to justify this investment”
Responding to the MHRA's consultation documents, Raj Patel, chair of the National Pharmacy Association’s FMD working group, said: “With a lack of certainty as to just how long the FMD system will be needed for, combined with the financial squeeze on community pharmacy, and the lack of any announcement on government funding for this regulation, it is hard to justify the investment.”
“However, we are mandated to comply, so we must proceed, albeit with caution.”