Guidance clarifies new rules for pharmacies selling poisons and chemicals

Changes in legislation prompt the RPS to publish guidance for pharmacists.

New legislation governing how poisons and chemicals can be supplied by pharmacies have been clarified in guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Nitric acid (pictured) is now a regulated substance under the explosive pre-cursor category

New legislation governing how poisons and chemicals can be supplied by pharmacies have been clarified in guidance from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) [RPS members only].

From Tuesday 26 May, members of the public will require a licence from the Home Office to purchase certain regulated chemical substances. Pharmacies can c
ontinue to sell these substances, but will 
need to conform to 
new labelling requirements
 and must report suspicious transactions.

The UK 
Deregulation Act 2015, which amends the Poisons Act
1972, reclassifies some substances and sets out a common system of regulation for the possession and supply of non
-medicinal poisons and explosive precursors.

The RPS quick reference gu
ide was
 developed with the Home Office. It sets out the list of regulated substances that will require purchasers to hold a Home Office licence, and the reportable substances for which a licence is not needed but reporting and labelling
duties also apply.

The guide also maps out what pharmacies must check before supplying regulated poisons and chemicals, how to identify a suspicious request and how the reporting system works.

Community pharmacy groups previously backed the change in legislation but had called for the burden on pharmacies to maintain a register of buyers to be removed. However, this was retained in the legislation.

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 6 June 2015, Vol 294, No 7865;294(7865):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068580