Technical problems experienced by online pharmacy company Pharmacy2U have prompted NHS England to write to GPs and other primary care service providers to warn them about the “unacceptable” disruption to services. The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has also issued a statement, saying it intends to inspect the company.
The technical issues have resulted in some patients being unlikely to receive their ordered medicines until 11 January 2016.
“NHS England has met with Pharmacy2U as this disruption in supply is unacceptable, particularly as we approach the Christmas bank holiday period,” says the letter from David Geddes, NHS England’s head of primary care commissioning.
The letter sets out arrangements being made to mitigate risk and inconvenience to patients. It explains that Pharmacy2U is contacting affected patients and will return any electronic prescriptions issued to patients who cannot wait until 11 January for their medicines. The prescriptions will be released back to the NHS spine or returned by post, allowing patients to pick up their medicines from an alternative pharmacy using either the electronic prescription service (EPS) or their hard copy.
“NHS England will be working with the pharmacy to rectify the situation and ensure patients can be confident they can expect a reliable service,” the letter concludes.
A statement posted on the GPhC’s website on 23 December 2015 says: We are aware of concerns relating to Pharmacy2U’s prescription medication delivery and we are carrying out a special inspection visit alongside NHS England.”
The statement also advises concerned patients to contact their local pharmacy and if necessary their GP to ensure that they have a continuous supply of their medicines.