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Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee

Distance Selling Pharmacies

ComputerThe National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2012, replaced by The National Health Service (Pharmaceutical and Local Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2013, brought in a number of conditions for distance selling pharmacies in addition to the regulations governing all pharmacies.

All distance selling pharmacies face disciplinary action and ultimately removal from the Pharmaceutical List by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) should they fail to meet these conditions.

The following is a guide to the regulations, available here. Regulations 25 and 64 specifically apply to distance selling pharmacies.

Requirements

1. A distance selling pharmacy must not provide essential services to a person who is present at the pharmacy, or in the vicinity of it. In addition, the pharmacy’s SOPs must provide for this to be done safely and effectively without face to face contact with any member of staff on the premises. The NHSCB could ask for sight of the SOPs when considering an application to satisfy itself that the conditions will be met.

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2. A distance selling pharmacy may provide advanced and enhanced services on the premises, as long as any essential service which forms part of the advanced or enhanced service is done away from the premises.

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3. The pharmacy’s procedures and SOPs must allow for the uninterrupted provision of essential services during the opening hours of the pharmacy to anyone in England who requests the service. The NHSCB could ask for sight of the SOPs, during the application process, to ensure that adequate arrangements have been made to satisfy this condition.

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4. Nothing in any written or oral communication such as a practice leaflet or any publicity can suggest, either expressly or impliedly, that services will only be available to persons in particular areas of England, or only particular categories of patients will (or will not) be provided for.

Click here to see example scenario