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Lloyds and Day Lewis prepare to trial scanners as EU deadline looms

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Day Lewis: We are well progressed in planning for FMD implementation
Day Lewis: We are well progressed in planning for FMD implementation

Lloydspharmacy and Day Lewis are preparing to trial barcode scanners in certain branches, ahead of EU legislation coming into force in February.

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.

4 Comments
Question: 
Is your pharmacy ready for FMD?

John Ellis, Community pharmacist

This legislation is due to begin Feb 2019. Yet we have no word on funding, no word on how it all works, no word on split packs or unused medicines. To put icing on the cake, all of this nonsense is due to happen just one single month before we leave the institution that had written this damn thing into law.

max falconer, Superintendent Pharmacist

Most No,no,no if ever there was a time for pharmacy to show some unity- I know, don’t laugh- this is it. We should flatly refuse to have any engagement with this ludicrous unnecessary and misguided nonsense. 

Most certainly unless fully funded. That means all the hardware plus all the ongoing staff costs. I estimate this will be a minimum of  4 hours a day for even an average pharmacy. This equates to around £15000 a year. No specific extra ringfenced remuneration no engagement. Pharmacy is entering the last chance saloon we must stick together. 

 

Peed Off Superintendent, Superintendent Pharmacist

FMD....Another body blow for common sense.  Speaking to the MHRA, no counterfeit medicines have ever entered the normal pharmacy supply chain in the UK by the normal wholesale route so thanks for this Europe. I hope everyone understands that if we are forced to do this then it would make sense for packs entering the pharmacy to be scanned there and then....but no....we will have to scan all packs/bottles of medicines whilst giving them out after we have already dispensed and bagged them up. And don't imagine anyone has thought what will happen about split packs yet. Do you and your staff have time to do everything twice (on top of ETP claiming and less manpower due to the cuts) And if there is a 10 day period between dispensing and scanning out then the pack will become unscannable and unusable and you will lose more of your bottom line. Also, it looks like we will be charged to set this up and dont let any fantasists claim that we will be reimbursed for this outlay from anywhere ever. Everyone has ignored this coming and it will be a nightmare and further hit your staffing. Good luck. 

 

A B, Community pharmacist

The PMR system I use produces aggregated barcodes as part of the bag label. That barcode will link to all of the medicine in the bag, so should only have to scan the once even if there is multiple medications in the bag. Also, split packs can be used, you decommission when it is first opened and can use the rest of the pack as and when. I've found this website pretty useful: www.fmdsource.co.uk

But I agree with you, this seems a pointless burden for community pharmacy. It should be an issue that is dealt with at wholesaler level. If they obtain their medicine from reputable sources there is no way a community pharmacy can obtain "fake" medicines (unless they are getting medicine from a dodgy wholesaler, which I can't imagine happens very often).

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