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'No one wants to cause harm' – AIMp chief on GP pharmacist warning

Leyla Hannbeck: Pharmacist prescribers must have robust clinical algorithms in place
Leyla Hannbeck: Pharmacist prescribers must have robust clinical algorithms in place

No pharmacy professional wants to cause patients harm, AIMp’s CEO Leyla Hannbeck has said in response to a PDA warning around GP pharmacists prescribing.

There has been an “unprecedented surge” of pharmacists being recruited into GP practices, and it is “important as a pharmacist to understand what the requirements are” when taking on the role, the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) chief executive told C+D last week.

Her advice comes the week after the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) claimed there has been a rise in the number of “critical incidents that may harm patients” involving GP pharmacists.

“Some of these recent cases are linked in some way to pharmacists prescribing inappropriately or offering poor advice,” the PDA claimed.

The story was reported in the national press, with The Sun claiming on its website that patients had “died after pharmacists took over some GP work”.

Ms Hannbeck stressed that “no pharmacist gets up in the morning to go and harm somebody”.

“A lot of community pharmacists are willing to support GP practices,” she added.

Primary care networks and GP practices should “work collaboratively” with community pharmacists to develop capability “across the existing network”, Ms Hannbeck said.

Pharmacist prescribers working in all settings must ensure that “robust clinical algorithms” and “necessary due diligence” are in place, especially when it comes to remote prescribing, Ms Hannbeck added.

“Patient safety has to be the key focus,” she stressed.

Are you an independent prescriber working in a GP practice or for an online pharmacy?

s8chy P, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I'm an independent prescriber for last 10years. I used to work in GP practice, the work I did was useful and well within my capability. Today, I am back in community Pharmacy where I love it. I see thousands of prescriptions signed by practice pharmacists and I think this is wrong. Signing off on repeat prescriptions is a misuse of a pharmacist and personally I think they are all mugs doing it.

Ronald Trump, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Unless they are getting very well remunerated for it to reflect the increased responsibility and indemnity costs. And as long as they are competent! Someones gotta do it? Saves GP time? 

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