We get lots of calls from pharmacists under great pressure to achieve a certain number of MURs – they get threatened with all sorts of disciplinary procedures and loss of pay.
We wouldn't condone anyone becoming involved in fraudulent reporting, but we can understand how people get themselves into that situation. There are a number of people who do buckle under the pressure and pay a very high price for it.
In these fitness-to-practise hearings, I think the GPhC should look at environmental circumstances, such as if the company is pressurising or threatening the pharmacist, as mitigating factors.
MUR targets are being driven by a profit-based culture and, at the end of the day, it's the pharmacist at the coalface who's facing these pressures – often without the necessary resources to deliver the targets demanded.
We wouldn't condone anyone becoming involved in fraudulent reporting, but we can understand how people get themselves into that situation
Mark Pitt is membership services manager at the Pharmacists' Defence Association