Pharmacy 2018: The twists and turns

The main events in pharmacy throughout 2018 and a preview of the year ahead.

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Figure 3: Viagra disappoints

Read the story here: Exclusive deal for Boots as sildenafil becomes P medicine

Figure 7: Revalidation rolled out

Read the story here: Are you revalidation ready?

Figure 8: Valproate restricted

Read the story here: MHRA announces new valproate licensing rules

Figure 11: Minister caught red-handed

Read the story here: Pharmacy Integration Fund used to bail out other parts of NHS

Figure 16: Many happy returns

Read the story here: NHS70: major moments in pharmacy 1948–2018

Figure 18: FIP’ing good Congress

Read the story here: Highlight of the FIP opening ceremony

Figure 22: Flu jab shambles

Read the story here: Pharmacists turning patients away as flu vaccination supplies dwindle

Figure 24: Keep calm and carry on


What to look forward to in 2019

  • Billed as the biggest IT medicines safety drive in the world, the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD) is due to come into force on 9 February 2019, bringing with it changes to pharmacy workflows as well as extra costs. But it is unclear whether the UK will retain FMD after Brexit.
  • The UK is due to leave the EU on 29 March 2019, which could prompt medicines shortages on top of those already being experienced in both the community and hospitals.
  • Those who already find it tricky to complete the General Pharmaceutical Council’s continuing professional development (CPD) demands should start preparing for increased requirements in 2019. Registrants will have to provide four CPD records as well as a peer discussion and a reflective review of their practice.
  • Community pharmacy contract negotiations for England for 2019/2020 are due to begin in 2019. However, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee has warned that the government does not want to pay more for pharmacy services.
  • An extension of new legal defences for inadvertent prescribing errors to include hospital and other pharmacists will hopefully be introduced in March 2019, but with the legislation already delayed from December 2018, further delays are possible. 
  • On a more positive note, pharmacist and technician care home posts in England should come to fruition in 2019, as well as more pharmacists in GP surgeries.
  • The first fully-funded independent prescribing course for community pharmacists in NHS Scotland will start in January 2019.


Infographic: Mark Watkinson

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, December 2018, Vol 301, No 7920;301(7920):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20205895

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