A petition calling on the government to reject Responsible Pharmacist proposals has received more than 10,000 signatures, meaning the government now has to respond to it.
The petition, entitled ‘Reject remote pharmacist proposals. Keep pharmacists present for patients’ was launched in October 2018 by Mariam Ahmed, who was described as a “concerned pharmacist” by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), which actively supports the petition.
The petition was launched in response to government proposals clarifying roles within the pharmacy team.
In the petition, Ahmed said that while a pharmacy is open, “it is a fundamental patient right that a qualified pharmacist is available on site at all times to consult in person, without the need for an appointment”.
She also warned that government proposals could mean pharmacists would be signed in as the Responsible Pharmacist for more than one pharmacy at a time and therefore not always physically available to patients.
In a statement on the petition, the PDA said it shared the view that patient safety would be jeopardised if a pharmacist was not present in a pharmacy during the medicines dispensing and supply processes, and that the presence of a pharmacist was “fundamental” to the care and safety of the public.
If the petition receives 100,000 signatures by 18 April 2019, it will be considered for debate in the Houses of Parliament.