The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) must become robust in defending the current practice where community pharmacists are always present and available in the pharmacy to deliver hands-on pharmaceutical care. I am not against the introduction of technology, and telepharmacy, etc, have their place. However, the threats are real that, sometime in the future, it may be made possible by legislation for remote supervision to become the norm or that the Medicines (Pharmacies) (Responsible Pharmacist) Regulations may extend the time community pharmacists are allowed to spend away from the pharmacy, which can be misused by unscrupulous employers.
Any initiative that takes the community pharmacist away from the pharmacy for long periods (or at all, in my view) will lead to a reduction in pharmaceutical care of the walk-in customer and stall the advance of clinical pharmacy services provision from the pharmacy. The RPS must make its stand clear to all members. For further information on why the presence of the pharmacist in the pharmacy is so important, readers may like to take a look at my LinkedIn article ‘In defence of community pharmacists’.
English Pharmacy Board
Royal Pharmaceutical Society