Under EU anti-counterfeiting legislation the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), every pharmacy in the UK will be required to scan barcodes on medicines packs and check their anti-tampering devices at the point of dispensing from February 9, 2019.
With just over five months to go, Lloydspharmacy has “appointed both a hardware and software supplier” to implement the legislation and will begin piloting the “overall process in some [branches] next month”, Sarah Gibb, FMD programme manager at the multiple’s parent company Celesio, told C+D last week (August 24).
“A significant amount of time and money has been spent to ensure that we are ready for February 9,” she stressed.
The multiple has chosen “a standalone system rather than integrating it with our patient medication record (PMR)” system and is liaising with SecureMed – the UK group tasked with implementing the FMD – “to keep them informed” of progress, Ms Gibb explained.
“Communications and training for our pharmacy teams are an integral part of our plans,” she added.
“Getting into the habit of scanning”
“We don’t know at the moment how many products in the supply chain will be compliant, but from January, once our colleagues are trained and new standard operating procedures have been introduced, stores will start scanning what they can.
“Although nothing will be uploaded to the [national FMD database], we felt it appropriate to integrate the new process early so people get into the habit of scanning before the system goes live,” Ms Gibb said.
Day Lewis “well progressed”
Day Lewis told C+D it “is well progressed in planning for the implementation of FMD” and will “soon” be conducting trials of the full scanning process at three of its pharmacies, ahead of a full roll out across all its more than 300 branches.
Neither Lloydspharmacy or Day Lewis would confirm which of their branches would be involved in the trials.
Last week, Weldricks told C+D it will trial scanners in two of its 63 pharmacies next month.
In July, Raj Patel, chair of the National Pharmacy Association’s FMD working group, warned pharmacies to “proceed, albeit with caution” with their implementation plans, despite the government not having confirmed if it will reimburse the sector for installing new scanners and software.