The falsified medicines directive (FMD) – created to prevent counterfeit medicines from entering the European supply chain – will require every pharmacy in the UK to scan barcodes, check tamper-proof devices and decommission medicines to prevent them from being reused, from February 2019.
However, a spokesperson for Numark said “specific detail around the process is still outstanding”, which it is "reliant upon" to develop support for its members.
Numark said that although it will not have an "in-house solution" for members, it will establish partnerships with relevant stakeholders to ensure they have an "end to end solution".
Although SecureMed – the UK group tasked with implementing the FMD – confirmed last month that IT service provider Arvato Systems would be supplying the database hub that will be used in the UK, it is up to each pharmacy business to decide how to implement a compatible IT system and scanners in their community pharmacies.
“We are in contact with a number of representatives from SecureMed and are following progress with interest to ensure we are in a position to help members prepare for February 2019,” a Numark spokesperson told C+D last week (August 8).
The three largest multiples told C+D last month they do not have enough information to implement barcode scanners in every pharmacy by the "unrealistic" deadline of February 2019.
“Implications on resources and skills of team”
Numark stressed the change in infrastructure to comply with FMD would have “implications" for "resources and skills within the pharmacy team”, which is "likely to be time-consuming”.
It said its role would be to ensure “the transition is as smooth and pain-free as possible”.
“Difficult to predict costs”
Numark said that while it is difficult to predict the costs of FMD, the cost of establishing the verification systems would be “borne by manufacturers”, which is expected to be done through a licensing arrangement.
“Community pharmacy and wholesalers will be required to pay for any physical scanning equipment where needed and necessary software upgrades,” it said.
Numark also confirmed that packs that are split will have the anti-tamper device checked and then be “classed as decommissioned when they are first opened”.
“The pharmacy can then dispense the remainder of the pack without any future checks being required,” Numark said.