The managing and commercial directors of Pharmacy2U both face fitness-to-practise hearings in relation to the company’s sale of patient data.
The online business was fined £130,000 in October for selling patient information to marketing companies in 2014, including a lottery company that “deliberately targeted elderly and vulnerable individuals”.
The hearings of both managing director Daniel Lee and commercial director Julian Harrison will take place on 23-25 May, according to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
Mr Lee’s hearing will focus on the allegation that he “failed to ensure robust procedures were in place on his website to allow patients to provide informed consent to the use of their data”, the GPhC said. Mr Harrison’s hearing will assess the allegation that he “authorised the sale of patient data to third parties”.
A Pharmacy2U spokesperson confirmed to C+D that both men would attend their hearing.
"When the issue was first brought to our attention we immediately contacted the GPhC and have been fully cooperating with its investigation since then," the spokesperson added.
GPhC action so far
The regulator conducted a joint inspection of the online pharmacy with NHS England in April, the same month the government's privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, announced it would investigate Pharmacy2U's sale of patient data as a breach of the Data Protection Act.
The inspections found that the business had taken "steps to prevent another breach of patient information” and concluded that there were no other "immediate" concerns about patient safety, the GPhC said last October.
In January 2016, the GPhC called on Pharmacy2U to "urgently" improve its service after it failed to deliver prescriptions over Christmas. Pharmacy2U announced in December that it had been experiencing "unforeseen difficulties" with its move to a new automated facility, which meant it was unable to deliver any medicines over the festive season.