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Pharmacy2U directors in line for FTP hearings

The online business was fined £130,000 in October for selling patient information to marketing companies

Managing director Daniel Lee and commercial director Julian Harrison both face probes in May into the sale of patient data

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. 

 

11 Comments

Anonymous Anonymous, Information Technology

This is the problem when non-pharmacists are allowed to control pharmacies... Expect a plethora of problems to begin surfacing!

Jim Thomson, Superintendent

And, people, this is what happens when you allow *** online pharmacy.  

In the EU, there are very few Member States that allow this "lottery".  Yet, as an EU citizen, you (and I) are free to order online from God alone knows where.  And those meds will be delivered, unchecked within EU borders. 

It has the potential to replace high street pharmacy in profitable areas (check out the ads in any motorway gents toilets) but, is it really regulated?  Effectively?  

The system was designed for a pre-online world.  What is needed is cyber-evaluation of online outlets, and early warning.  And a framework fit for purpose.  

The Falsified Medicines Directive (now law) will go some way, but patient information regarding the online environment (and good, old-fashioned community pharmacy) have a massive role to play.  Discuss.

Jim

*This comment has been amended to conform to C+D's community principles

Jim Thomson, Superintendent

Sorry, not "Superindendent", but there was no field for "Campaigner"!  J

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

Its gonna be expensive!!! Looks like we shall all be paying greater fees next year...   :-(

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

Its gonna be expensive!!! Looks like we shall all be paying greater fees next year...   :-(

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

So, after finding """"""" The inspections ....  concluded that there were no other "immediate" concerns about patient safety, the GPhC said last October."""""""  and 2 months later P2U over the Xmas period went into meltdown !!!

 

So much for the GPhC evalution process. Abject waste of OUR fees and not fit for purpose.

Paul Samuels, Community pharmacist

Just a thought--why not disqualify the company as well?

Mr Pharmacist!, Pharmaceutical Adviser

They probably both dont give a ****, its not like they need to be registered pharmacists.  Besides, with their wealth, whats the fall out, they can sit at the FTP and smile broadly at the face of the toothless regulator, who will at best pull there registrations, to both the gentlemens utter satisfaction.  I've said this before, what profession pays so low and yet has such a high level of nonsense regulation.  It's not WORTH being a pharmacist these days.

R A, Community pharmacist

Let me correct you no amount of pay will compensate for the level of responsibility a pharmacist is expected to shoulder! Its creating two classess of pharmacists those who don't care (which raises the question if such people should be allowed to practice as pharmacists) and those who do care being shackled down by regulation and used as scape goat for the contractor sad days indeed. 

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

I would hope some action will be taken about the lack of service over Christmas

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

They must be terrified.

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