The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has lost its High Court bid for a judicial review of regulator General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) proposed new standards that govern a pharmacist’s conduct, ethics and performance, which are due to be introduced in May.
Judge Mr Justice Singh threw out the application on a number of grounds and ruled that the two pharmacists bringing the action with the support of the PDA could not be considered victims of human rights legislation and therefore are not entitled to rely on convention rights in these proceedings.
The PDA had sought a judicial review because it was concerned that the standards expected a pharmacist’s behaviour to be applied at all times, both inside and outside the workplace, which it argued threatened the individual’s human rights.
The hearing to decide whether to grant a judicial review took place at the High Court in Birmingham on 23 March.
Commenting on the decision, director of the PDA Mark Pitt said: “Seeking a judicial review prior to the new standards coming into force … was always going to present some practical difficulties, but we believed it would be preferable to seek a resolution before May rather than wait and expose members to uncertainty and risk.”
But Pitt welcomed the judge’s statement because it clarified some of the issues that had been at the heart of its legal challenge.