In a letter published in The Times last week (August 6), RPS president Sandra Gidley urged the government to allow community pharmacists to “make changes to prescriptions that would reduce unnecessary delays in providing medicines to patients in the event of a supply shortage”.
This would help “prevent unnecessary delays”, and could, for example, see pharmacists provide a two-week supply to a patient, and asking them to then “collect the rest in a fortnight”, she said.
“At present, any changes to quantities, strength or formulation can legally only be done by the prescriber. A change to medicines legislation is needed to enable pharmacists to speed up patients’ access to medicines, which would also have the added benefit of reducing the workload of GPs,” Ms Gidley added.
Referencing Brexit, she said it is “vital that the UK and EU agree a deal on medicines regulation as soon as possible”.
In May, the RPS filed a submission to the Health Select Committee asking for a legislation amendment that would allow pharmacists to make changes to prescriptions all the time, not just when the government has issued a serious shortage protocol.
This would “save patients having to go back to their prescriber and help reduce the workload of GPs”, the organisation said at the time.